The 2013 European Tour schedule has been announced and the stand-out change is the arrival of a new £19 million 'Final Series' format similar to the Fed-Ex Cup.
The ‘Final Series’ – made up of BMW Masters, the WGC HSBC Champions, the Turkish Open and the DP World Tour Championship – has been brought in to “bring even more drama and excitement to the conclusion of our season, and to further enhance The Race to Dubai” said George O’Grady, Chief Executive of The European Tour.
Any European Tour member hoping to qualify for the DP World Tour Championship – and therefore the chance to play for The Race to Dubai Bonus Pool – will have to participate in two of the three tournaments preceding the season finalé.
Furthermore, any member participating in the first three tournaments in ‘The Final Series’ will receive a 20 per cent bonus on The Race to Dubai points earned from those three events, the bonus being added to the respective players’ points total before the DP World Tour Championship.
O’Grady also said: “To have our members finishing The European Tour season at tournaments of genuine quality is exciting. We felt there had to be an additional level of commitment from the membership to these important tournaments, hence the new regulation.
“The response from our leading players to this change has been extremely encouraging, and we take confidence from their support as we look to continue the positive evolution of The European Tour in an extremely challenging economic climate.”
The regular season will start in Africa, travel through Asia, America, Australasia and its home continent of Europe, before ending back in Dubai in November.
Keith Waters, Chief Operating Officer and Director of International Policy for The European Tour, said: “We are delighted to announce another comprehensive International Schedule that once again shows the strength in depth of The European Tour.
“With 45 tournaments already confirmed, we are hopeful of making additional tournament announcements in the near future which will further strengthen the playing schedule we are able to offer the broad spectrum of our membership.”
The qualification process to make the 2014 Ryder Cup team will have a different beginning this year as the points race kicks off with the ISPS Handa Wales Open at Celtic Manor, the scene of Europe’s dramatic 2010 Ryder Cup victory, which has moved to its new date of August 29th to September 1st.
Another regulation change set to take effect at the end of 2013 is a reduction in the number of members exempt in Category 8. The reduction in Category 8 members for the 2014 season will increase playing opportunities for players graduating from the Challenge Tour and European Tour Qualifying School.
The schedule in full:
Dec 6-9 The Nelson Mandela Championship, Royal Durban GC, South Africa
Dec 13-16 Alfred Dunhill Championship, Leopard Creek CC, South Africa
Jan 10-13 Volvo Golf Champions, Durban Country Club, South Africa
Jan 17-20 Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, Abu Dhabi GC, UAE
Jan 23-26 Commercialbank Qatar Masters, Doha GC, Qatar
Jan 31-3 Feb Omega Dubai Desert Classic, Emirates GC, UAE
Feb 7-10 Joburg Open, Royal Johannesburg & Kensington GC, South Africa
Feb 14-17 Africa Open, East London GC, South Africa
Feb 21-24 WGC - Accenture Match Play Championship, Ritz-Carlton GC, USA
Feb 28-3 Tshwane Open, Copperleaf Golf & Country Estate, South Africa
Mar 7-10 WGC - Cadillac Championship, Doral Golf Resort & Spa, USA
Mar 14-17 Avantha Masters, Jaypee Greens GC, India
Mar 21-24 Maybank Malaysian Open, Kuala Lumpur G&CC, Malaysia
Mar 28-31 Trophée Hassan II, Golf du Palais Royal, Morocco
Apr 4-7 TBA
Apr 11-14 The Masters, Augusta National GC, USA
Apr 18-21 Reale Seguros Open de España, TBA, Spain
Apr 25-28 Ballantine's Championship, Blackstone GC, South Korea
May 2-5 Volvo China Open, Binhai Lake GC, China
May 9-12 TBA
May 16-19 Volvo World Match Play Championship, Thracian Cliffs Golf & Beach Resort, Bulgaria
May 23-26 BMW PGA CHAMPIONSHIP, Wentworth Club, England
May 30-2 Jun Nordea Masters, Bro Hof Slott GC, Sweden
Jun 6-9 Lyoness Open, Diamond CC, Austria
Jun 13-16 U.S. Open, Merion Golf Club, USA
Jun 13-16 Open Najeti Hotels and Golf, Saint Omer GC, France
Jun 20-23 BMW International Open, Golfclub München Eichenried, Germany
Jun 27-30 The Irish Open, Carton House, Maynooth, Ireland
Jul 4-7 Alstom Open de France, Le Golf National, France
Jul 11-14 Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open, Castle Stuart Golf Links, Scotland
Jul 18-21 The Open Championship, Muirfield, Scotland
Jul 25-28 Russian Masters, TBA, Russia
Aug 1-4 WGC – Bridgestone Invitational, Firestone CC, USA
Aug 8-11 US PGA Championship, Oak Hill Country Club, USA
Aug 5-18 TBA
Aug 22-25 Johnnie Walker Championship, Gleneagles, Scotland
Aug 29-1 Sept, ISPS Handa Wales Open, Celtic Manor, Wales
Sept 5-8 Omega European Masters, Crans-sur-Sierre, Switzerland
Sept 12-15 KLM Open, Kennemer G&CC, The Netherlands
Sept 19-22 Italian Open, TBA, Italy
Sept 26-29 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, St Andrews, Carnoustie & Kingsbarns, Scotland
Oct 3-6 Vivendi Seve Trophy, TBA
Oct 10-13 Portugal Masters, TBA, Portugal
Oct 17-20 Perth International, Lake Karrinyup CC , Australia
Oct 24-27 BMW Masters, Lake Malaren GC, China
Oct 31-3 Nov WGC - HSBC Champions, Sheshan International GC, China
Nov 7-10 Turkish Open, The Montgomerie Maxx Royal, Turkey
Nov 14-17 DP World Tour Championship, Jumeirah Golf Estates, UAE