Euro Tour adds three events to 2011 schedule

Keith Walters (left) and George O'Grady of the European Tour.

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – You wouldn’t know these were austere times from looking at the 2011 European Tour schedule.

You’d expect tournaments to be falling off the European Tour in this current financial crisis, not new ones being added. Yet Europe will announce a new schedule shortly that features new events and new venues.

“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,” said Keith Waters, the European Tour’s chief operating officer and director of international policy. “The tour’s business is geographically and culturally very diverse.”

The 2011 Euro Tour schedule includes three new events in a 50-tournament season: The Volvo Golf Champions at the Royal Golf Club, Bahrain; the Sicilian Open; and the Iskandar Johor Open.

The 2011 schedule sees a monthlong desert swing in the Middle East, with the addition of the Bahrain tournament alongside long-term venues Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Dubai.

For the first time in many seasons, the 2011 season will end with the European Tour’s equivalent of the PGA Tour Championship, the Dubai World Championship. For the past 10 years, the following European Tour season has started in the same calendar year as it ended. Moreover, the December date of next year’s Dubai World Championship means that the 2012 season will take place in the same calendar year, which hasn’t happened since 1999.

The 2011 schedule stretches from the Alfred Dunhill Championship, Dec. 9-12 this year, and ends with the Dubai World Championship, Dec. 8-11, next year.

Maybe the feel-good factor of having a European World No. 1, Lee Westwood, and Euro Tour members holding three of the four major championships (Graeme McDowell, U.S. Open; Louis Oosthuizen, British Open; and Martin Kaymer, PGA Championship) already is paying dividends.

• • •

The 2011 European Tour schedule:

Dec. 9-12 Alfred Dunhill Championship

Dec. 16-19 South Africa Open

Jan. 6-9 Africa Open

Jan. 13-16 Joburg Open

Jan. 20-23 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

Jan. 27-30 Volvo Golf Championship

Feb. 3-6 Commercial Bank Qatar Masters presented by Dolphin Energy

Feb. 10-13 Omega Dubai Desert Classic

Feb 17-20 Avantha Masters

Feb. 23-27 WGC–Accenture Match Play Championship

Mar. 10-13 World Golf Championship

Mar. 17-20 Sicilian Open Golf

Mar. 24-27 Andalucia Open

Mar. 31-Apr. 3 Hassan II Trophy

Apr. 7-10 The Masters

Apr. 14-17 Maybank Malaysian Open

Apr. 21-24 Volvo China Open

Apr. 28-May 1 Ballantine’s Championship

May 5-8 Spanish Open

May 12-15 Iberdrola Open

May 19-22 Volvo World Match Play

May 19-22 Madeira Islands Open BPI – Portugal

May 26-29 BMW PGA Championship

Jun. 2-5 Celtic Manor Wales Open

Jun. 9-12 BMW Italian Open

Jun. 16-19 US Open

Jun. 16-19 Saint-Omer Open presented by Neuflize OBC

Jun. 23-26 BMW International Open

Jun. 30-Jul. 3 Alstom French Open

Jul. 7-10 Barclays Scottish Open

Jul. 14-17 Open Championship

Jul. 21-24 Nordea Scandinavian Masters

Jul. 28-31 Irish Open

Aug. 4-7 WGC–Bridgestone Invitational

Aug. 11-14 PGA Championship

Aug. 18-21 Czech Open

Aug. 25-28 Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles

Sep. 1-4 Omega European Masters

Sep. 8-11 The Vivendi Trophy with Seve Ballesteros

Sep. 22-25 Austrian Golf Open

Sep. 29-Oct. 2 Alfred Dunhill Links

Oct. 6-9 Madrid Masters

Oct. 13-16 Portugal Masters

Oct. 20-23 Castello Masters Costa Azahar

Oct. 27-30 Andalucia Masters

Nov. 3-6 WGC–HSBC Championship

Nov. 10-13 Barclays Singapore Open

Nov. 17-20 Iskandar Johor Open

Nov. 24-27 Omega Mission Hills World Cup

Dec. 1-4 UBS Hong Kong Open

Dec. 8-11 Dubai World Championship presented by DP World

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