The Lyoness Open will feature in The Race to Dubai until at least 2019 following a new five year agreement between The European Tour, title sponsor Lyoness and promoter Golf Open Event gmbh.
Next year marks the Austrian tournament’s tenth consecutive staging, having also previously been played each year between 1990 and 1996 when champions included Ryder Cup stars Bernhard Langer, Ronan Rafferty and Paul McGinley.
As part of the new agreement, the prize fund for the 2015 tournament will be increased by 50 per cent, from €1,000,000 to €1,500,000. The tournament will return to Diamond Country Club, in Atzenbrugg, the host venue since 2010, which is a European Tour Destination as part of The European Tour’s Properties Network.
This year, Sweden’s Mikael Lundberg denied home favourite and 2012 champion Bernd Wiesberger a second victory in three years, holing a 40ft birdie putt on the first play-off hole to claim the title.
Keith Waters, The European Tour’s Chief Operating Officer and Director of International Policy, said: “Since returning the our International Schedule in 2006, the Lyoness Open has developed into an excellent tournament, and it has been an important and valued fixture on our Race to Dubai.
“We are therefore delighted that Lyoness and Golf Open Event gmbh have committed to staging the tournament for a further five years, and have significantly increased the prize money, which will help grow the event even further. Our thanks goes to Lyoness for their continued support of golf and The European Tour, while we are also grateful to Christian Guzy, the owner of Diamond Country Club, for his commitment to developing the course and facilities into a venue the Tour is extremely proud of.”
Wiesberger, who was at the press conference to announce the new agreement, said: “It’s great that Austria and the Lyoness Open will be part of the European Tour calendar for the next five years. This is a great motivation not only for me, but for all the Austrian players who work so hard.
“It is also important that Austria continues to remain a focus in the golf world, as the tournament also has a positive effect for our country as a golfing tourist destination.”
Alongside Lundberg and Wiesberger, the top five at this year’s Lyoness Open also included Dutchman Joost Luiten, the 2013 champion, Paraguay’s Fabrizio Zanotti, who claimed his maiden European Tour title three weeks later at the BMW International Open, and Spaniard Miguel Angel Jiménez, who now resides in Vienna with his Austrian wife Susanne.
European Tour www.europeantour.com
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