After 20 years of supporting the development of Europe’s male professional golfers, the PGA EuroPro Tour has announced its 2022 season will be its last.
Having launched in 2002 through a partnership between Sandy Jones and The PGA’s Mastercard Tour, and Barry Hearn and Matchroom Sport, the tour has helped international stars from Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel to Aaron Rai, Tyrrell Hatton, Marcus Armitage, Richard Mansell, and many more. In the North East, the tour has hosted events at venues including Longhirst Hall, Slaley Hall and Linden Hall over the last two decades.
Daniel Godding, PGA EuroPro Tour CEO, said: “In a market evolving quickly, the PGA EuroPro Tour feels the impact of changing global investment, media and sponsorship. The economic landscape of increasing costs and the changing habits of the worldwide audience means it has become clear that unfortunately there is no longer the support nor demand in the market to operate the PGA EuroPro Tour.
“With many major, European and PGA Tour wins and Ryder Cup appearances by previous members, the tour has proudly created a legacy and has driven forward the brand and image of European golf.
“In recent times, the sports environment has evolved drastically and it has proven difficult for the PGA EuroPro Tour to operate. We are sad to bring an era to its end, but we are delighted that we have helped so many realise their dreams.
“We wish everyone the best of success in the years to come and we’re excited to see where our past and current members can take their games. We’d like to thank all our staff and PGA members, all our partners from the 20 years who have made it possible, and every golf club and volunteer who has been so hospitable when the PGA EuroPro Tour has come to town.”
Through offering cards for the following season’s Challenge Tour, the EuroPro was an important stepping stone for young professionals.
Matchroom Sport and PGA EuroPro Tour president Barry Hearn added: “I have been honoured to have created the PGA EuroPro Tour alongside Sandy Jones of the PGA and to watch the development of so many aspiring and inspiring professional golfers.
“Sadly, in these changing times for professional golf, support for Europe’s biggest development tour has not been sufficient to justify its continuation but I must stress my eternal gratitude to Dan Godding and his team at the PGA EuroPro Tour, the PGA, our broadcasters Sky Sports and the golf clubs and volunteers in both the UK and Europe without whom we would never have created so many opportunities for next generation of professional golfers.”
Robert Maxfield, chief executive of the PGA, added: “I would like to thank and congratulate Matchroom for successfully operating The PGA EuroPro Tour for so many years. A number of today’s global golf stars owe a huge debt of gratitude to the tour for providing them with the opportunity to realise their dreams. It is sad that this will be the last season, but we can all look back with great pride on what has been achieved over the last 20 years.”
The final event will be the Matchroom Sport Tour Championship at Lough Erne Resort, which takes place October 19-21 and will see the top five players in the final order of merit promoted to the Challenge Tour for 2023.