Because the minimum number of tournaments a player needs play to keep membership on the European Tour was long ago eleven, foreign golfers might become members by playing just four events on the tour, omitting majors and World Golf Championships, which all elite players join in any case. However, because the prize money on offer in these four events is so small, it would be difficult for them to win enough money to be relevant for their home countries.
The reality is that most players need to win at least one major tournament or world championship in order to remain on the European Tour. The only exceptions are those players who reach the "statutory age" of 50 before the end of 2020, when their status will lapse unless they win at least one official event within that time. As we'll see, there are still plenty of ways to get back on the European Tour after missing out on victory at the first attempt.
There are several methods used by tours to determine who should be included on their rosters. One method is the "money list". This is calculated from all the official events that have been played over the course of the season. It is then ranked from 1 to 150 according to how much each player has won or qualified for.
Many of the world's top players are European and only return to play three, four, or five regular European Tour tournaments before playing 15 or 16 PGA Tour events. Simply said, the PGA Tour, which was formerly our rival, is now our partner. They pay all the expenses for the players to come over here and they get the best golfers in the world to play their events. The players earn millions of dollars every year.
The first player to officially join the PGA Tour after leaving the European Tour was Paul Lawrie. He became eligible when he reached a professional high ranking of 12th, at which point he replaced David Edwards as the number two player behind Tiger Woods. Lawrie went on to win seven titles on both the PGA Tour and the Challenge Tour. He currently ranks fourth all-time on the money list with his earnings of $47 million.
Other notable former European Tour players who have joined the PGA Tour include Nick Faldo (who was the number one player for six years), Ian MacKaye, Aaron Baddeley, Matt Clark, Oliver Wilson, Thomas Bjørn, Søren Kjeldsen, Anders Hansen, Jesper Parnevik, Jeev Milkha Singh, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Rafa Cabrera-Bello.
Headquartered in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the United States The PGA European Tour is an organization that operates Europe's three primary men's professional golf tours: the elite European Tour, which is the main golf tour in Europe; the European Senior Tour, which is for players fifty and older; and the developmental Challenge Tour.
The European Tour's European-based tournaments are almost all played in Western Europe, with the most profitable taking place in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, France, and Spain.
The European Tour is generally the first overseas stop for excellent players from Commonwealth non-European countries, and it is a key source of elite golfers like Greg Norman and Nick Price. These golfers often advanced to the PGA Tour as a second step.
65 participants After two rounds, or 36 holes, most European Tour tournaments feature a cut to a field for the final two rounds. As of the 2017-18 season, the cut rule has been reduced to the top 65 players and ties, with those players able to continue the event if fewer than 78 players finish inside the 36-hole cut line.
The number of players who make it through this first round cut is referred to as the "field." A complete list of the current fields for each tournament, along with other information such as how much money each place prize fund, can be found at http://www.europeantour.com/en/tournaments/current-fields/.
Not all tournaments are played to completion. If there are not enough players to complete all the holes, which sometimes happens early in the schedule when many people play wait-and-see to see what kind of weather may be coming their way, they will cancel any remaining holes and the event is over. Some large events might only have one cutoff while others might have several depending on their budget. Either way, the number of players that remain after these cuts are made is called the "field" for the event.
On average, more than half of all European Tour events are completed today. The number of players involved in each event varies greatly, from as few as 20 to more than 100. The largest event on record was the 2005 BMW International Open, which had 106 players.
The top 25 players in the Final Stage tournament (including those tied for 25th place) will receive full membership in the European and Challenge Tours for the 2019 season. Over the previous five years, the medalist has gotten 29 European Tour starts on average, while the 25th qualifier has received 19. The winner of the European Qualifying School event will always be included on the main tour, with additional prizes available for the top performing players. The 2018 Finals stage took place in Barcelona at the end of June.
Players must first qualify for a spot on one of these two tours by finishing inside the top 125 on either the European Senior Tour or the Challenge Tour. They do this by earning points throughout their career through winning tournaments or ranking positions. These points accumulate up to 100 for a player who reaches a high enough position to make it into the top 125, with more lucrative offers likely to come along from different tours. Players start at the Qualifying School with a tryout round where they can show what they've got before moving on to the next stage. The final stage takes place over three days with around 120 players competing for 20 spots per day. The top 10 players after each day's play will progress to the next day with chances to improve their status.
Players who don't make it into the main tour can still earn money by playing on the secondary Challenge Tour. This is done by completing a series of non-ranking events known as "category centers".