1976 European Tour

The 1976 European Tour was a series of golf tournaments that comprised the Professional Golfers' Association (PGA) Tournament Players’ Division circuit. It is officially recognised as the fifth season of the PGA European Tour.

1976 European Tour season
Duration14 April 1976 (1976-04-14) – 24 October 1976 (1976-10-24)
Number of official events21
Most wins2 – Baldovino Dassù, Sam Torrance
Order of MeritSeve Ballesteros
Sir Henry Cotton rookie of the yearMark James

Historically, the PGA's Order of Merit only included tournaments in Great Britain and Ireland, but in 1970 events in continental Europe were included for the first time. The circuit and organisation evolved further over the following years, adopting the name PGA European Golf Tour in 1979.[1]

The Order of Merit was won by Spain's Seve Ballesteros.


The table below shows the 1976 European Tour schedule which was made up of 21 tournaments counting for the Order of Merit, and some non-counting tournaments that later became known as "Approved Special Events". The schedule included the major national opens around Europe, with the other tournaments mostly held in England and Scotland.[2] There were several changes from the previous season, with the addition of the Greater Manchester Open and the Uniroyal International;[3] along with non-counting events the Cacharel World Under-25 Championship and the Lancome Trophy; and the Benson & Hedges Festival being retitled as the Benson and Hedges International Open.

Dates Tournament Host country Winner[a] Notes
8–11 Apr Masters Tournament United States   Raymond Floyd (n/a) Major championship; non-tour event[a]
14–17 Apr Portuguese Open Portugal   Salvador Balbuena (1)
21–24 Apr Spanish Open Spain   Eddie Polland (3)
28 Apr – 1 May Madrid Open Spain   Francisco Abreu (2)
6–9 May French Open France   Vincent Tshabalala (1)
12–15 May Piccadilly Medal England   Sam Torrance (1)
19–22 May Sumrie-Bournemouth Better-Ball England   Eamonn Darcy (n/a) &
  Christy O'Connor Jnr (n/a)
Pairs event; not counting for the Order of Merit[a]
28–31 May Penfold PGA Championship England   Neil Coles (5)
2–5 Jun Cacharel World Under-25 Championship France   Eamonn Darcy (n/a) New tournament; not counting for the Order of Merit[a]
4–7 Jun Kerrygold International Classic Republic of Ireland   Tony Jacklin (5)
9–12 Jun Martini International England   Sam Torrance (2)
17–20 Jun U.S. Open United States   Jerry Pate (n/a) Major championship; non-tour event[a]
17–20 Jun Greater Manchester Open England   John O'Leary (1) New tournament
23–26 Jun Uniroyal International England   Tommy Horton (3) New tournament
30 Jun – 3 Jul Phillip Morris International France   United States Approved special event; team event
7–10 Jul The Open Championship England   Johnny Miller (n/a) Major championship
15–18 Jul Scandinavian Enterprise Open Sweden   Hugh Baiocchi (3)
22–25 Jul Swiss Open Switzerland   Manuel Piñero (2)
5–8 Aug Dutch Open Netherlands   Seve Ballesteros (1)
12–15 Aug PGA Championship United States   Dave Stockton (n/a) Major championship; non-tour event[a]
12–15 Aug German Open West Germany   Simon Hobday (1)
17–18 Aug Double Diamond Individual Championship Scotland   Simon Owen (2)
19–21 Aug Double Diamond International Scotland   England Team event; not counting for the Order of Merit
26–29 Aug Carroll's Irish Open Republic of Ireland   Ben Crenshaw (n/a)
2–5 Sep Sun Alliance Match Play Championship England   Brian Barnes (4)
16–18 Sep
15–17 Jul
T.P.D. Under-25 Championship England   Howard Clark (n/a) Not counting for the Order of Merit[a]
22–25 Sep Benson and Hedges International Open England   Graham Marsh (4)
29 Sep – 2 Oct Dunlop Masters Wales   Baldovino Dassù (1)
7–9 Oct Piccadilly World Match Play England   David Graham (n/a) Approved special event[a]
14–17 Oct Lancome Trophy France   Seve Ballesteros (n/a) New tournament; approved special event[a]
21–24 Oct Italian Open Italy   Baldovino Dassù (2)
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i The numbers in parentheses after the winners' names show the number of official career wins they had on the European Tour up to and including that event. Totals are only shown for members of the European Tour and are inclusive of the three United States-based major championships since, although not official tour events at the time, they have been recognised as such retrospecively. Victories in tournaments later designated as "Approved Special Events", along with other events not counting towards the Order of Merit, are not recognised as official tour wins.

Order of MeritEdit

The PGA European Tour's money list was known as the "Order of Merit". It was based on a points system, which meant that some players could finish lower than others despite accumulating more prize money.[4]

Position Player Country Points Prize money (£)
1 Seve Ballesteros   Spain 21,494.82 39,504
2 Eamonn Darcy   Ireland 16,740.87 25,027
3 Sam Torrance   Scotland 16,627.16 20,917
4 Manuel Piñero   Spain 16,474.00 19,946
5 Tommy Horton   England 16,184.88 22,781
6 Neil Coles   England 15,975.72 20,543
7 Martin Foster   England 12,668.57 17,436
8 Brian Barnes   Scotland 12,255.74 23,350
9 Baldovino Dassù   Italy 12,160.78 13,405
10 Simon Hobday   South Africa 11,892.97 15,196


Award Winner Country
Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year Mark James   England

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Tour History". PGA European Tour. Archived from the original on 4 April 2010.
  2. ^ "Cold shoulder for Scots fans". Aberdeen Press and Journal. 12 December 1975. p. 25. Retrieved 14 June 2020 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  3. ^ Ward-Thomas, Pat (12 December 1975). "Prize increases put £1m within reach". The Guardian. p. 26. Retrieved 14 June 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  4. ^ "Sevvy tops table". Glasgow Herald. 27 October 1976. Retrieved 16 June 2020 – via Google News Archive.

External linksEdit