1979 European Tour

The 1979 European Tour was a series of golf tournaments that comprised the Professional Golfers' Association (PGA) European Tournament Players' Division (ETPD) run PGA European Golf Tour. It was the first time the circuit carried the European Tour name and is officially recognised as the eighth season of the PGA European Tour.

1979 European Tour season
Duration12 April 1979 (1979-04-12) – 28 October 1979 (1979-10-28)
Number of official events23
Most wins3 – Sandy Lyle
Order of MeritSandy Lyle
Sir Henry Cotton rookie of the yearMike Miller

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, and adopted the title PGA European Golf Tour for the 1979 season.[1] Also for the first time in 1979, players from continental Europe were eligible for the Ryder Cup.

The Order of Merit was won by Scotland's Sandy Lyle.


The table below shows the 1979 European Tour schedule which was made up of 23 tournaments counting for the Order of Merit, and some non-counting tournaments that later became known as "Approved Special Events". It included the major national opens around Europe, with the other tournaments mostly being held in England, Wales and Scotland. There were several changes from the previous season, with the addition of the Welsh Golf Classic and Lada English Golf Classic. A new team event was also planned for France, replacing the Sumrie Better-Ball,[2] but it was not held.

Dates Tournament Host country Winner[a] Notes
12–15 Apr Masters Tournament United States   Fuzzy Zoeller (n/a) Major championship; non-tour event[a]
12–15 Apr Portuguese Open Portugal   Brian Barnes (7)
19–22 Apr Spanish Open Spain   Dale Hayes (4)
26–29 Apr Madrid Open Spain   Simon Hobday (2)
3–6 May Italian Open Italy   Brian Barnes (8)
10–13 May French Open France   Bernard Gallacher (5)
17–20 May Colgate PGA Championship England   Vicente Fernández (2)
25–28 May Martini International England   Greg Norman (2)
31 May – 3 Jun B.A./Avis Open Jersey   Sandy Lyle (1)
7–10 Jun Belgian Open Belgium   Gavan Levenson (1)
14–17 Jun U.S. Open United States   Hale Irwin (n/a) Major championship; non-tour event[a]
14–17 Jun Welsh Golf Classic Wales   Mark James (2) New tournament
21–24 Jun Greater Manchester Open England   Mark McNulty (1)
28 Jun – 1 Jul Lada English Golf Classic England   Seve Ballesteros (9) New tournament
5–8 Jul Scandinavian Enterprise Open Sweden   Sandy Lyle (2)
18–21 Jul The Open Championship Scotland   Seve Ballesteros (10) Major championship
26–29 Jul Dutch Open Netherlands   Graham Marsh (5)
2–5 Aug PGA Championship United States   David Graham (n/a) Major championship; non-tour event[a]
2–5 Aug Sun Alliance Match Play Championship Scotland   Des Smyth (1)
9–12 Aug Benson and Hedges International Open England   Maurice Bembridge (6)
16–19 Aug Braun German Open West Germany   Tony Jacklin (6)
23–26 Aug Carroll's Irish Open Republic of Ireland   Mark James (3)
30 Aug – 2 Sep Swiss Open Switzerland   Hugh Baiocchi (5)
6–9 Sep European Open England   Sandy Lyle (3)
14–16 Sept Ryder Cup United States   United States Approved special event; team event
20–23 Sep SOS Talisman TPC England   Michael King (1)
27–30 Sep Cacharel World Under-25 Championship France   Bernhard Langer Approved special event
3–6 Oct Dunlop Masters Wales   Graham Marsh (6)
11–14 Oct Suntory World Match Play England   Bill Rogers (n/a) Approved special event
25–28 Oct Lancome Trophy France   Johnny Miller (n/a) Approved special event
  1. ^ a b c d 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 "Approved Special Events" 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.

Position Player Country Prize money (£)
1 Sandy Lyle   Scotland 49,233
2 Seve Ballesteros   Spain 47,411
3 Mark James   England 38,534
4 Dale Hayes   South Africa 32,540
5 Michael King   England 29,725
6 Brian Barnes   Scotland 28,204
7 Ken Brown   Scotland 25,407
8 Antonio Garrido   Spain 24,665
9 Tony Jacklin   England 22,179
10 Neil Coles   England 21,351


Award Winner Country
Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year Mike Miller   Scotland

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Tour History". PGA European Tour. Archived from the original on 4 April 2010.
  2. ^ Jacobs, Raymond (21 December 1978). "£1½m record prize money on European tour". Glasgow Herald. Glasgow, Scotland. Retrieved 11 June 2020 – via Google News Archive.

External linksEdit