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European Tour gains two tournaments, loses three

The European PGA Tour added a pair of tournaments to its 2010 schedule on Monday and left three others off the list.

The Africa Open in South Africa and the Hassan 11 Golf Trophy in Morocco were put on the schedule, while the Johnnie Walker Classic in Australia, the Malaysian Open and the Indonesian Open were missing.

The three missing events had a combined prize fund of more than $4 million in 2009.

The Africa Open, which will be co-sanctioned with the Sunshine Golf Tour, will be held at the East London Golf Club in the first week of January. In March, the Hassan 11 Golf Trophy, which dates back to 1971 and is being upgraded to Tour status, will be played at the Royal Dar-Es-salam Club in Rabat. The tournament features a new celebrity pro-am format over the first two rounds.

The Tour also said that the Race to Dubai, the European tour’s money list bonus scheme, will be in place again next season. The Race to Dubai’s future was put in doubt when Leisurecorp, the initial backers of the scheme, was hit by the recession and taken over by Nakheel Leisure, which negotiated a $5 million reduction in the prize fund.

“We are committed and proud to take our partnership with The European Tour forward into the new season,” Nakheel Leisure managing director Hamza Mustafa said. “The inaugural Race to Dubai has been a phenomenal success and I believe we are currently seeing the benefits of the new format with some impressive fields in the latter part of the season as players race to qualify for the Dubai World Championship.”

The 2010 season starts in December 2009 with two tournaments in South Africa. It then moves on to the three-event desert swing in Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Dubai in late January.


October 20, 2009

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