1981 European Tour

The 1981 European Tour was the 10th official season of golf tournaments known as the PGA European Tour and organised by the Professional Golfers' Association.

1981 European Tour season
Duration23 April 1981 (1981-04-23) – 25 October 1981 (1981-10-25)
Number of official events22
Most wins2 – Seve Ballesteros, Bernhard Langer, Sandy Lyle, Greg Norman, Manuel Piñero
Order of MeritBernhard Langer
Sir Henry Cotton rookie of the yearJeremy Bennett

The Order of Merit was won by West Germany's Bernhard Langer.

Rule changesEdit

The local rule that had been introduced on the tour in 1976 which allowed spike marks to be repaired was rescinded, and a local rule that prohibited touching of the line of a putt with a club was introduced.[1]


The table below shows the 1981 European Tour schedule which was made up of 22 tournaments counting for the Official Money List, and some non-counting tournaments later known as "Approved Special Events".[2][1] There were several changes from the previous season, with the addition of the Lawrence Batley International,[3] and the loss of the Newcastle Brown "900" Open and the Merseyside International Open.

Dates Tournament Host country Winner[a] Notes
9–12 Apr Masters Tournament United States   Tom Watson (n/a) Major championship; non-tour event[a]
23–26 Apr Madrid Open Spain   Manuel Piñero (5)
30 Apr – 3 May Italian Open Italy   José Maria Cañizares (3)
7–10 May Paco Rabanne Open de France France   Sandy Lyle (5)
14–17 May Martini International England   Greg Norman (5)
22–25 May Sun Alliance PGA Championship England   Nick Faldo (4)
28–31 May Dunlop Masters England   Greg Norman (6)
4–7 Jun Lawrence Batley International England   Sandy Lyle (6) New tournament
11–14 Jun Cold Shield Greater Manchester Open England   Bernard Gallacher (7)
18–21 Jun U.S. Open United States   David Graham (n/a) Major championship; non-tour event[a]
18–21 Jun Billy Butlin Jersey Open Jersey   Tony Jacklin (7)
25–28 Jun Coral Classic Wales   Des Smyth (4)
2–5 Jul Scandinavian Enterprise Open Sweden   Seve Ballesteros (15)
8–11 Jul State Express Classic England   Rodger Davis (1)
16–19 Jul The Open Championship England   Bill Rogers (n/a) Major championship
23–26 Jul KLM Dutch Open Netherlands   Harold Henning (1)
30 Jul – 2 Aug German Open West Germany   Bernhard Langer (2)
6–9 Aug PGA Championship United States   Larry Nelson (n/a) Major championship; non-tour event[a]
13–16 Aug Carroll's Irish Open Republic of Ireland   Sam Torrance (3)
20–23 Aug Benson and Hedges International Open England   Tom Weiskopf (1)
27–30 Aug Swiss Open Switzerland   Manuel Piñero (6)
3–6 Sep Dixcel Tissues European Open England   Graham Marsh (8)
10–13 Sep Haig Whisky TPC Scotland   Brian Barnes (9)
18–20 Sept Ryder Cup England   United States Approved special event; team event
24–27 Sep Bob Hope British Classic England   Bernhard Langer (3)
1–4 Oct Benson and Hedges Spanish Open Spain   Seve Ballesteros (16)
8–11 Oct Suntory World Match Play England   Seve Ballesteros (n/a) Approved special event
15–18 Oct Lancome Trophy France   David Graham (n/a) Approved special event
22–25 Oct Cacharel World Under-25 Championship France   Tim Simpson (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.

Official Money ListEdit

The PGA European Tour's money list was known as the "Official Money List". It was based on prize money earned during the season and calculated in Pound sterling.

Position Player Country Prize money (£)
1 Bernhard Langer   West Germany 81,036
2 Nick Faldo   England 48,109
3 Sandy Lyle   Scotland 44,732
4 Greg Norman   Australia 44,254
5 Manuel Piñero   Spain 39,640
6 Sam Torrance   Scotland 36,012
7 Seve Ballesteros   Spain 35,154
8 Des Smyth   Ireland 29,105
9 Eamonn Darcy   Ireland 25,805
10 José Maria Cañizares   Spain 25,529


Award Winner Country
Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year Jeremy Bennett   England

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Plumridge, Christopher (17 December 1980). "Putting an end to Europe's spiky problem". The Guardian. London, England. p. 21. Retrieved 9 June 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  2. ^ Jacobs, Raymond (17 December 1980). "Putting an end to Europe's spiky problem". Glasgow Herald. Glasgow, Scotland. p. 17. Retrieved 9 June 2020 – via Google News Archive.
  3. ^ "Chairman's tournament". The Times. London, England. 16 December 1980. p. 22. Retrieved 9 June 2020 – via The Times Digital Archive.

External linksEdit