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Ken Schofield to step down after 30 years

European Tour executive director Ken Schofield is to retire at the end of next year, ending one of the longest tenures of its kind in sport.

He would be succeeded by fellow Briton, deputy executive director George O'Grady, the tour said.

"To stand aside is always difficult, but 30 years is a long time -- indeed a rare privilege -- and to go beyond would be selfish, particularly as, together with George O'Grady, we have seen a huge interest develop in the game and the tour," Schofield said.

When Schofield was appointed executive director in 1975, the European Tour comprised 17 official golfing events with a prize fund of about 430,000 pounds ($758,600), which under his leadership grew to 48 events and over 71 million pounds ($125.3 million) in 2003.

O'Grady became deputy executive director of the tour in 1985 and has also worked as joint managing director of the tour's television company.

"Ken has been a unique leader of the European Tour for approaching 30 years and in that time we have formed a formidable partnership and relationship," O'Grady said.

"To receive the universal backing of all on the tournament committee and the board of directors at the joint meeting to succeed him was both important and invigorating."

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