European Tour

Westwood named European Tour Golfer of the Year

The 47-year-old Englishman began the season with victory in the year’s first Rolex Series event, the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship in January, and ended it by winning the Race to Dubai after finishing runner up to Matt Fitzpatrick in the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai earlier this month.

In between those two standout performances, he showed remarkable consistency, missing only one cut in 15 European Tour appearances and recording six consecutive top 20 finishes from the ISPS Handa UK Championship in August to the Scottish Championship presented by AXA in October.

The ten time Ryder Cup player also hosted the Betfred British Masters for the second time at Close House in July, with the tournament marking the full resumption of the European Tour’s 2020 season following a three month pause due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Westwood made history in Abu Dhabi when he became the first active golfer to win across four separate decades by claiming his 25th European Tour title.

The former World Number One entered the record books again in the Middle East at the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai as he birdied two of the last three holes in the season-finale to secure solo second place, becoming only the sixth player to win the Harry Vardon Trophy three times or more since the European Tour came into existence in 1972.

He was previously crowned European Number One in 2000 and 2009, with the span of 20 years between his first and most recent Harry Vardon trophy surpassing the previous record of 15 years held by Seve Ballesteros. His longevity was further underlined by the fact he also became the oldest winner of the Race to Dubai at the age of 47 years, seven months and 20 days.

Westwood has now added his fourth European Tour Golfer of the Year award to that list of achievements, having also claimed the honour in 1998, 2000 and 2009. He was chosen as the 2020 recipient by a panel comprising members of the golf media. 

Lee Westwood said: “I am very honoured and extremely flattered to have been named European Tour Golfer of the Year as I know the competition for the award this year would have been extremely high. 

“Thank you to the media for voting for me and also huge congratulations again to everyone at the European Tour who did a tremendous job this year managing to put on a full International schedule under such difficult times. 

“I never forget that I am extremely fortunate to do a job which I love, and which has sent me around the world playing in the most amazing places and meeting some wonderful people, so to win this award is very humbling.            

 “I am looking forward to the 2021 season, the 28th season of my career, which I will start by defending at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.” 

Keith Pelley, Chief Executive Officer of the European Tour, said: “Lee has been an incredible ambassador for golf and for the European Tour, not just throughout 2020 but also across his entire career.

“His performances and his professionalism are matched by his longevity and his commitment to European golf. For Lee to call shortly before our resumption and ask what he could do to help the Tour is testament to the person and the player he is. 

“To then go on to become the European Tour’s Number One player for a third time, 20 years after he first achieved that accolade, was a storybook way to end this most challenging of years. Lee is therefore a thoroughly deserving winner of the European Tour’s Golfer of the Year award.”

Panel Member James Corrigan, Golf Correspondent for the Daily Telegraph, said: “Lee Westwood is the worthy recipient on his golf alone – winning the Race to Dubai having prevailed in Abu Dhabi and racking up another seven top 20s. Yet the fact that he lifted his third Harry Vardon Trophy as a 47-year-old, 20 years after his first, makes his candidature all the more irresistible.

“He has been incredibly loyal to his home circuit and as Matt Fitzpatrick said in Dubai: “Lee is the definition of this tour.” 

(European Tour)

Highlights Tours

European Ryder Cup Qualification Process to resume in the new Year

The European Tour today confirmed that the qualification process for next year’s Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin will resume on January 1, 2021 and conclude at the BMW PGA Championship on Sunday September 12, 2021.

The process, which began at last September’s BMW PGA Championship, was suspended after the conclusion of the 2020 Commercial Bank Qatar Masters in March this year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic which shut down the European Tour at that point.

Upon the Tour’s resumption in July, and due to the fractured nature of the season, it was decided then to freeze the Ryder Cup points for the remainder of the year although all points gained prior to the suspension still counted.

However, to recognise the in-form European players around the world, when the qualification process resumes next month it will feature a new weighting as the season progresses, a specific request from European Captain Pádraig Harrington that was ratified by the Tour’s Tournament Committee.

Firstly, all Race to Dubai and Official World Golf Ranking points earned between January 1 and May 9 will be multiplied by 1.5. This means that the Sentry Tournament of Champions on the PGA TOUR (Jan 7-10) will restart the World Points List while the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship (January 21-24) will do the same for the European Points List.

Furthermore, all points earned from the Betfred British Masters hosted by Danny Willett, which concludes on May 12, through to the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, ending on September 12, will be multiplied by 2.

The 12-man European Team will comprise the first four players from the European Points List, followed by the leading five players from the World Points List. Captain Harrington then has three wild card picks to complete his line-up, a decision which will be unveiled in the week after the 2021 BMW PGA Championship.

European Captain Pádraig Harrington said: “I am delighted to see the qualification campaign getting back underway next month. The weighting of the points will further reward our in-form players and will give added interest to what already looks like an exciting season ahead.

“I have been keeping a keen eye on all European players in action on both sides of the Atlantic in recent months and have been very encouraged by what I have seen. I look forward to seeing how that form translates into points on the two respective lists in the coming months.”

Similar to the process for The 2018 Ryder Cup, qualification points will not be available anywhere in the world from a tournament played opposite a Rolex Series event – excluding Challenge Tour tournaments – nor from the 2021 Men’s Olympic Golf Tournament.

Tommy Fleetwood, who made his Ryder Cup debut at Le Golf National in 2018, currently leads the European Points list, while Tyrrell Hatton, who also made his first Ryder Cup appearance in Paris is currently the first qualifier from the World Points List.

The 43rd edition of The Ryder Cup will be played on the Straits Course at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin from September 21-26, 2021. 

European Tour

Major Champions McIlroy and Thomas to tee it up in Abu Dhabi

Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas, both Major Champions and Ryder Cup superstars, have confirmed their participation at the 16th edition of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship from January 21-24, 2021.

The Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship will mark the first Rolex Series event on the 2021 Race to Dubai, with a world-class international field set to assemble at the iconic Abu Dhabi Golf Club.

McIlroy, the current World Number Four, will be looking to start the year off on a high note when he returns to Abu Dhabi for the first time since 2018. The Northern Irishman has finished second on four occasions in his quest to lift the Falcon Trophy and will be hoping he can go one better when he returns in January. 

“I’m looking forward to coming back to Abu Dhabi,” said former World Number One McIlroy. “It’s always a great event for the players and it’s the perfect place for me to start the 2021 season. Abu Dhabi Golf Club is a world-class golf course, one that I have come close to winning on several times over the years, so hopefully I can do well again and be right up there contending come Sunday.”

World Number Three Thomas, who recently recorded his best result at Augusta National when he finished fourth at the Masters Tournament, will make his debut in the Middle East at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. The 27-year-old has become a prolific winner on the global golf stage with 13 victories to his name, his most recent coming at the 2020 WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational, and will make his third Rolex Series appearance having previously teed it up in France and Scotland. 

“I’m excited to play for the first time in Abu Dhabi,” said Thomas. “I’ve heard really great things about the course and with it being the first Rolex Series tournament of the year, I’m sure it is going to deliver a strong field. I enjoy new challenges, I like playing different golf courses around the world, and competing against the best players in the game, so of course I have my eye on trying to take home the Falcon Trophy.”

His Excellency Aref Al Awani, General Secretary of Abu Dhabi Sports Council, said: “We are delighted to welcome back Rory McIlroy to Abu Dhabi for our award-winning Championship and we are thrilled to host Justin Thomas for the first time as he makes his debut in the UAE at this prestigious tournament. Abu Dhabi is a global capital of world sport and the presence of players such as these only strengthens that position and reinforces our esteemed reputation.”

Abdulfattah Sharaf, CEO of HSBC UAE commented: “The Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship is one of golf’s premium tournaments with an unwavering ability to attract the world’s best players. Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas are two of golf’s most exciting superstars, and will help the event continue to play its vital role in shaping the future of golf in the region by inspiring the next generation.”

First staged in 2006, the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship is hosted at the iconic Abu Dhabi Golf Club for the 16th consecutive year from January 21-24, 2021.        

European Tour


The European Tour today announces its 2021 schedule which will feature a minimum of 42 tournaments in 24 countries, as golf’s global Tour resumes a full international programme.

Running from January to November, the schedule also features 18 returning tournaments which were either postponed or cancelled in 2020 due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

The 2021 season is headlined by a refined Rolex Series which now features the European Tour’s four premium events spread across key points in the global golfing calendar, each one enhanced by a prize fund increase, elevated Race to Dubai points and enriched media, content and broadcast coverage.

Launched in 2017, to coincide with the 20th anniversary of Rolex’s enduring partnership with the European Tour, the Rolex Series highlights the Swiss watch manufacturer’s ongoing commitment to the sport at the highest level.

The Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship (January 21-24), the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open (July 8-11) and the BMW PGA Championship (September 9-12) will each now have a prize fund of US$8million – an increase of $1million. They will also all have 8,000 Race to Dubai points available, the same as on offer at the four World Golf Championship events.

There will also be new opportunities for all players to qualify for both the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open and the BMW PGA Championship with three places now available from respective mini orders of merit based on a series of European Tour events leading up to them. Full details of these will be announced in due course.

The prize fund for the fourth and final Rolex Series event of the season – the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai – also increases by US$1million to US$9million. The European Tour season-ending finale will also continue to feature the largest winner’s cheque in the world of golf – US$3million – with, additionally, 12,000 Race to Dubai points available, some 2,000 points above those on offer at the four Major Championships.

While not in a position to announce the prize funds for all 2021 tournaments at this stage, some key points are:

  • Prize funds for all four UK Swing events in July / August will be increased
  • The second event of the UK Swing (July 29-Aug 1) – whose details will be announced early next year – will be co-sanctioned with the LET/LPGA
  • The UK Swing will have a Bonus Pool for the players in addition to a charity element
  • Prize funds for the new tournaments in Tenerife and Gran Canaria in April will each be €1.5million. The Portugal Masters, which follows these two events, will also increase to €1.5million 
  • Prize fund for the Betfred British Masters hosted by Danny Willett will rise to €2million from €1.25million 
  • Prize funds for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and the Italian Open will each rise to €3million, from €1.25million and €1million respectively

In addition to increased prize fund levels, the 2021 European Tour season also offers considerable playing opportunities across the 11 months with a schedule intended to reduce travelling wherever possible. 

Illustrating that point, in addition to the traditional group of tournaments in the Middle East at the start of the year, the schedule also includes the return of the Iberian Swing in April and the UK Swing in July and August, which follows on from the run of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open and The Open Championship. Also next to each other on the schedule are the Open de España and the Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters in Spain in the first two weeks of October followed by the Trophée Hassan II in Morocco the following week.

Keith Pelley (Photo: Getty)

Keith Pelley, Chief Executive of the European Tour, said: “I am incredibly proud to announce our 2021 global schedule today, one that once again sees us journey through continents and across the world.

“With the pursuit of Ryder Cup points beginning again in January for our European members; qualification spots now available for our Rolex Series events; a sustained pursuit of innovation and a continued celebration of our wonderful heritage, it is understandable that our overarching narrative for this season is that: ‘Every Week Counts.’

“There is no question that the challenge of reshaping our 2020 season in many ways informed our approach to 2021. One of the key learnings was to group events together in terms of their geographical location to create a more travel friendly season for our members. That is reflected in numerous concentrations of event locations. 

“Another was to continue to enhance our Rolex Series events at strategic points in the global golfing calendar when the European Tour will be the focal point of golf on the world stage. This is one of the many aspects we will continue to develop in our Strategic Alliance discussions with the PGA Tour, following our historic partnership announcement last month. 

“Our events in the initial part of the 2021 season will continue to operate under the guidelines of our world-class Health Strategy, which will evolve aligned to the latest medical advice.

“However, with the incredible progress that has been made in recent months in terms of a vaccine, we look forward to hopefully welcoming the gradual return of the fans we’ve so dearly missed, whilst at the same time continuing to entertain viewers at home through our unrivalled World Feed TV output and across our award-winning digital platforms.” 

(Press Release European Tour)


Something for the eye – last-minute Christmas presents

Christmas is coming. As a passionate golfer, we see a bunch of gifts coming, for which we still have to thank somehow: the small pen golf bag for the desk (which will never make it there), the ugly lamp made from an old 7 iron (hidden somewhere in a dark corner) and if you are really lucky, you’ll get at least a dozen balls of a brand that you’d actually play. And even if it’s the new driver you wanted so badly for months, we still have to wait all winter for the golfing season to come. And golf travels aren’t a smart idea either in these pandemic times. We have a few nice last-minute ideas with which you can make the winter a beautiful one by yourselves (because those giving presents will hardly read here) and transform your home discreetly and tastefully into a stylish understatement clubhouse. Whether all of this will arrive before Christmas is an open question, but winter is (unfortunately) still long – that’s why you should make yourself nice at home.

The Golfer’s Journal

In my honest opinion this is the world’s best golf magazine. You won’t find any product tests of the 30 best drivers of 2021, home stories with a DJ and tips for better putting here. Instead, there are stories about interesting places and people you’ve most likely never heard of (a 97-year-old pro, slum golfer in Mumbai or a man who for almost 20 years has built a full 18-hole course with his son every day after work on his property etc.), Trivia, entertaining and really readable articles in short and long form, rich and well illustrated with great photographs in a good layout and with very little advertising. I devour every issue from cover to cover. Single issue for $ 20 or subscription from $ 60 via

Evan Schiller – Photo Prints

Evan Schiller not only seems to have traveled to pretty much all the relevant courses on earth, he also took impressive photos of them. Almost every photo by him creates the desire to be there immediately. You can order each of your photos as art prints in various sizes on photo paper or metal from $ 95 in his shop – as seen here the 15 in Tralee. Of course, everyone should have our Golf Post calendar, but there is nothing against ordering Evan Schiller’s one as there is also a calendar with his best pics on

Evalu18 – Old Course Fine Art Print

A good selection of photos by various photographers, but also many graphic art prints, colored course maps and views of individual world-famous tracks are available at Evalu18. Playing the course is certainly more desirable for most, but hanging the Old Course on Hahnemühle museum paper over the couch or behind the desk, as in this example, also has something and is after all for less than the price of one To get green fees. Various designs and sizes from € 83.95 (including shipping) on

Good Boy Originals – Match Play Poster 

This idea is almost more charming for wall hanging: the Match Play poster from Good Boy Originals. The signature match boxes of the Top 10 (Golf Digest) courses, i.e. Pine Valley, Cypress Point, Sand Hills and others, combined on a fine art print on approx. A3 size, so it looks good in a 40 x 50 cm frame. Fits great in the smoking area. But actually on every wall. In addition to many other beautiful motifs available for $ 100 via

Hazard Golf – Mullet Poster

A bit for the funnier ones: John “Long John” a.k.a. “Wild Thing” Daly, the chain-smoking, game-addict and beer-drinking white trash version of the pro golfer who, despite all his trashy appearnce, somehow amiable mullet wearer, here abstracted to the essentials, on a poster of approx x 30 cm. Something for the true fans. Available for $ 25 on

Sweetens Cove – Stash Box

Sweetens Cove, the pearl of the Appalachians. After a unique renovation, this run-down and almost bankrupt goat track became a must-play destination for many within a few years, a course that made it into the bucket list of the very big ones with only nine (!) holes (ranked 21st place in the Best Courses You Can Play in the US, Golfweek). Now the very sympathetic owners also have a small line of really nice shirts, caps, prints and other accessories in their shop. And since we have already presented a lot of art for the wall, we go for the wooden stash box. It comes with an engraving and 100 logo tees. We’ll use the tees out in the fields upcoming season and then we use it for the love letters, keys, smoke wear, souvenirs, the scorecard collection, whatever. Pretty. For $ 120 from

Caddie Magazine – Lofted „Remarkable & Farflung Adventures for the Modern Golfer“

Unfortunately I couldn’t grab a copy of this 1.5kg hardcover tome from Caddie Magazine called “Lofted”. But since the Australian Caddie Magazine is my personal No. 2 of the best golf magazines and the best articles from the first eight issues are collected here and displayed on more than 260 pages, it should be worth every penny. The photos in the magazine, which is more specialized in travel destinations, have always been unique and make you wanna crawl into the mag. € 24.99 on amazon

Tight Lies – Kingsbarns Golf Links Poster

Back to the walls: Tight Lies has a great collection of beautiful and graphically fine crafted course maps as prints. Reduced to the essence, in minimalist colors, these maps of the great courses of the world are real eye-catchers. Carnoustie, Machrihanish, Bandon Dunes or, as here, Kingsbarns Golf Links as A3 posters for £ 25 (unframed) available from

Course Maps – Tobacco Road Poster

Similarly reduced, but different, based more on classic monochrome course maps, there is a large selection of well-known course classics with a greater focus on the states. Kiawah, TPC Sawgrass, Oakmont, Erin Hills, Royal Dornoch or here Mike Strantz’masterpiece in North Carolina, Tobacco Road. All with course information and selectable basic colors. Without frame for $ 45, with frame for $ 94 via

Lie + Loft – Quiet Pennant

Also cool: not only on the wall, but you can also hang it on your bag or cart if that one flight partner really annoys – the Quiet Please pennant. Of course, it fits just as well on the desk if you really have to concentrate in a shared office space. Or on the coffee table during the next tournament broadcast. Understatement for golf fanatics, available for $ 24.99 at

European Tour

Reed eyes double Dubai glory

Tournament Preview

The 2018 Masters Tournament winner heads into the final Rolex Series event of the season with a 460 point advantage over Englishman and fellow Ryder Cup star Tommy Fleetwood – who is in the hunt for a second Race to Dubai title following his momentous year in 2017.

As it stands Reed, Fleetwood, Collin Morikawa, and two-time European Number One Lee Westwood, are guaranteed to claim the Race to Dubai crown with victory at Jumeirah Golf Estates.  

Morikawa is also excited by the prospect of winning not only the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, and a first Rolex Series title, but topping the Race to Dubai Rankings in a season in which he captured his maiden Major title at the US PGA Championship. The 22 year old is already planning to spend more time on this side of the Atlantic no matter the outcome over the Earth Course this week, having signed up for European Tour membership in 2021.

It truly is all to play for as the 2020 season reaches a thrilling climax. Outside of the top four players, for four others – Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Victor Perez, Aaron Rai and Tyrrell Hatton – Race to Dubai glory is guaranteed if they take the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, title and Reed doesn’t finish solo second.

However, with 2,000 of the 12,000 points on offer going to the winner, there is still a mathematical chance that any of the leading 60 available players on the Race to Dubai standings, and Joost Luiten in 72nd position, could take the ultimate prize at the end of the week.

Player quotes

Patrick Reed: “Just to be over here, be back playing on The European Tour is always a treat for me, and to be in the position that I’m in, being the leader coming in, is an awesome feeling.

“I feel comfortable with the way the game is right now. I feel good going into tomorrow, and it’s just one of those things that it’s last event of the year. It’s a sprint. Go out there and leave it all out there and play as hard as you can and hopefully by late Sunday, we have a chance to win not only the tournament but The Race to Dubai.

“It would definitely be up there near the top (of the career achievements). You know it’s always been a dream of mine to not only win on the PGA Tour but also on The European Tour, and to win the FedExCup as well as The Race to Dubai. To be able to get one of those goals that I’ve had set for my career, especially this early, would be great.”

Tommy Fleetwood: “I think for all the guys that made it here, it’s a great end to the year. I mean, individually, it’s a massive event and then of course you’ve got the added part of the Race to Dubai on there, as well, which is massive.

“It’s another year where I’ve got both to look at and I’ve got the enjoyment of playing for both, which is exciting. I kind of like that I’m getting used to that over the last few years and hopefully I can keep that going.

“It’s the perfect way to end off the year. It’s the end of what’s been a difficult year for everyone, really, but we’ve been very lucky having a lot of events and having a chance to play. There’s a lot of things to be pleased about in the golf world this year, as well.”

Collin Morkikawa: “I think winning The Race to Dubai would mean a lot for my career, for myself. Huge confidence boost. There’s a lot in between now and Sunday that has to happen, but winning The Race to Dubai would mean a lot because I want my game to travel. I want to be a world player. I want to be able to bring my game anywhere, adapt to the different places I come to and this is just the first step of doing that.

“Obviously with a shortened season, winning the PGA Championship helped a lot and I hope to make it more out here because it is exciting. I signed up for membership for next year already because I want to play out here. I’m very thankful for the path that I’ve taken so far but this week means a lot. It’s a big week. I came here after some good rest after the Masters and really prepped, fresh mind and look forward to the week.”

(European Tour)



The International Golf Federation Board convened a virtual meeting yesterday focused on long-term strategic planning and progress toward next summer’s Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Originally scheduled for the Olympic House in Lausanne but moved online due to the continued impact of COVID-19, the Board was addressed by International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach on the status of the Olympic movement and then followed by IOC Sports Director Kit McConnell, who provided updates and answered questions regarding preparations for Tokyo. The overarching message was one of determination and confidence that the Olympic competition will proceed as scheduled with particular focus on health, safety and the simplification and reduction of the complexity of the Games. The Board expressed support and a shared commitment to deliver the golf competition with safety for the athletes and all involved a top priority.

During his presentation at the beginning of the meeting, Bach recognized and thanked outgoing IGF President Peter Dawson for his 10 years of leadership and service. Dawson notified the Board that he would not seek reappointment when his current two-year term expires at the end of the year.

In light of Dawson’s decision, the IGF Board has elected Annika Sorenstam as the IGF President, effective January 1, 2021. 

“It has been a great pleasure and privilege to serve as IGF President,” Dawson said. “Golf’s reinstatement to the Olympic programme was a landmark for our sport and it was a true thrill to witness our return at Rio 2016. Our Olympic status has been a strong catalyst for increasing cooperation and coordination between the major organisations in golf and has significantly strengthened the bonds between the IGF and our National Federations.

“My thanks go to so many people in golf and in the Olympic family for their support over the past 10 years,” he added. “Their help and goodwill have been invaluable. I wish my successor, Annika Sorenstam, every success. The IGF could not be in better hands.”

IGF Board Chairman Jay Monahan commended Dawson for his decade of service with the IGF. 

“On behalf of the IGF Board, I want to extend our sincere gratitude to Peter for the outstanding job he has done over the past decade on behalf of the IGF, including helping to assure golf’s highly successful return to the Olympic Games,” said Monahan, Commissioner of the PGA TOUR. “Peter has had a distinguished career dedicated to the growth of golf and the IGF has been fortunate to have him as such a strong advocate. 

“With Peter’s impending departure, we are thrilled to have someone as accomplished and universally respected as Annika Sorenstam to move into the role as IGF President. As a generational talent in women’s golf, Annika played a prominent role in golf’s successful Olympic bid by serving as a Global Ambassador with Jack Nicklaus and since retiring from competition, has been dedicated to promoting women’s golf at all levels through her foundation. She is the ideal person to succeed Peter in this role.”

“Peter did a great job the last 10 years as IGF President and I am humbled and honored to have been asked to succeed him,” Sorenstam said. “As an international player, having golf back in the Olympics means so much to me and to our sport.  I very much look forward to working with the Board, the IOC and the governing bodies of golf in their efforts to continue to grow the game globally.”

In addition to naming Sorenstam as the new IGF President, the Board appointed PGA TOUR executive Ty Votaw to another term as IGF Vice President.

(Press Release European Tour)