The Race to Dubai on The 2011 European Tour International Schedule, featuring a minimum of 50 tournaments in 29 different destinations, including new events in the Kingdom of Bahrain, Malaysia and Sicily, will conclude with the Dubai World Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, from December 8-11.
As a consequence of the later finish to The Race to Dubai in 2011, it is anticipated that The European Tour’s International Schedule will, in future, be played within the same calendar year, with the 2012 season commencing in mid January of that year and culminating in late November.
Three new events – the Volvo Golf Champions at The Royal Golf Club, Kingdom of Bahrain, from January 27-30, the Sicilian Open from March 17-20 and the Iskandar Johor Open from November 17-20 – appear on a schedule further enhanced by the return of the Volvo World Match Play Championship in addition to the biennial team events, The Vivendi Trophy with Seve Ballesteros and the Omega Mission Hills World Cup.
The sixth edition of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship on January 20-23 will launch a month-long “Gulf Swing” taking in the Volvo Golf Champions – one of three Volvo-sponsored tournaments – and the established Commercialbank Qatar Masters presented by Dolphin Energy and the Omega Dubai Desert Classic. This will be the 14th Qatar Masters and the 22nd Dubai Desert Classic.
Wentworth Club will, for the 31st time and the 28th in succession, host The European Tour’s flagship event – the BMW PGA Championship – from May 26-29, one of three tournaments in six weeks organised by the German car manufacturer with the BMW Italian Open from June 9-12 and the BMW International Open from June 23-26.
New venues for The 2011 Race to Dubai will include those hosting the Ballantine’s Championship (Blackstone Golf Club, Seoul), the Hassan II Golf Trophy (Golf de Palais et Golf de L’Océan, Agadir) and the Omega Mission Hills World Cup (Mission Hills Resort, Hainan island).
For the first time, three of the four Major Championships will be defended by European Tour Members in 2011 – the US Open Championship at Congressional Country Club (Graeme McDowell), The Open Championship at Royal St George’s (Louis Oosthuizen) and the US PGA Championship at Atlanta Athletic Club (Martin Kaymer).
Keith Waters, Chief Operating Officer and Director of International Policy for The European Tour, said: “We are extremely encouraged that The 2011 Race to Dubai comprises not only many of our established tournaments in addition to some new events and venues but also three significant month-long runs in designated locations. We start with four weeks in South Africa then four in the Gulf and later in the year there is a similar sequence with the Iberian Peninsula Swing.
“The success of our Members globally, including three Major Championship wins in 2010, and the winning of The Ryder Cup, has clearly contributed to the continuing development of The European Tour International Schedule but we are further inspired by the superb support of our many partners and sponsors whom we sincerely thank. The Tour’s business is geographically and culturally very diverse and while some territories remain positive we would particularly like to thank our partners, tournament promoters and sponsors in countries where the economic climate is very challenging and have continued to support us.
“With the return of the Omega Mission Hills World Cup, The Race to Dubai will conclude in December for the first time in 2011, enabling us to introduce a schedule based on the calendar year, which has been our stated intention for some time now. We anticipate, therefore, that the 2012 season will commence in January that year and conclude in late November.”
The European Tour www.europeantour.com