Two changes of venue, a different date in the calendar and plans for an increased prize fund are amongst the far reaching developments for the SAS Masters on The European Tour International Schedule.
The tournament, which this year will be played again at Arlandastad Golf from 14-17 August, will move to Barsebà¤ck Golf & Country Club in 2009 and then to the new Bro Hof Slott course for eight years from 2010 to 2017, part of a multi-million Swedish kronor agreement with the Stockholm venue.
The 2009 tournament at Barsebà¤ck Golf & Country Club will also move dates to 23-26 July which is the week following The Open Championship at Turnberry. It will feature a minimum prize fund of €1.6 million – the same prize fund for this year’s tournament – with plans to increase that in the future.
“It is every promoter’s dream to stage an event the week after The Open and we have been striving to do that for almost 20 years,” said Fredrik Nilsmark, managing director of the SAS Masters.
“We are very happy that The European Tour has given us the opportunity. It shows that the Tour sees us as an important player.”
Looking ahead, Björn à–rà¥s, Bro Hof Slott chairman and managing director, said: “As a move towards our ambition to be one of the best golf venues in Europe, it is very important to host a big event. To have the week after The Open gives us a chance to attract the best players.
“There are clear advantages of staying at the same venue year on year. To do this at one of the premier venues in Europe is even better.”
Björn Nordberg, chairman of the Swedish Golf Federation, admitted he was also looking forward to the partnership.
“For the SGF and the continued development of golf it is important to offer golfers a European Tour event of the highest quality,” he said. “Through the agreement with Bro Hof Slott we have created the platform for a first class event and the opportunity to further develop the SAS Masters.”
Last year saw the tournament played for the first time at Arlandastad Golf in Stockholm where Finland’s Mikko Ilonen triumphed and when the event moves to Barsebà¤ck Golf and Country Club in 2009, it will be the ninth time it has been played there.