English Open

  (Redirected from State Express Classic)

The English Open was a professional golf tournament on the European Tour. In 2009, it was due to be played over the Jack Nicklaus designed Signature Course at the St. Mellion International Resort in Cornwall, after a six-year hiatus, but its return to the schedule had to be postponed for at least two years after developers ran into financial difficulties.[1]

English Open
Course(s)St. Mellion
Tour(s)European Tour
FormatStroke play
Prize fund€1,000,000
Month playedAugust
Aggregate268 Darren Clarke (1999)
To par−20 (as above)
Northern Ireland Darren Clarke

In most countries where golf is played there is a national open, but in England this role was effectively filled by The Open Championship, sometimes referred to as the "British Open". The English Open was founded in 1979 as the Lada English Golf Classic, and was held until 1983 at The Belfry. After a five-year absence, the tournament returned in 1988 as the English Open. The first event was held at Royal Birkdale, before moving back to The Belfry until 1993 when it moved to the Forest of Arden.

Aside from three years at Hanbury Manor, the English Open remained at the Forest of Arden until the tournament was cancelled following the 2002 season as part of long term plans for the European Tour to expand globally, by reducing the number of tournaments held in Europe, especially the United Kingdom. In the tour's first official season in 1972 12 out of 20 events were staged in the UK, but by 2005 this was down to 8 out of 47.

The English Open was due to return to the European Tour schedule in 2009, under a five-year deal, initially as an alternate event to the PGA Championship, one of professional golf's majors.[2] However early in 2009, the revival was postponed until 2011 at the earliest, after developers ran into financial problems, reportedly as a result of the ongoing recession.[1] In March 2011 it was announced that the event had been cancelled due to insufficient sponsorship revenue having been raised by the organisers.[3]

Only two players have won the tournament more than once; Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland with three victories, and England's Mark James with two.


Year Winner Country Score To par Margin
of victory
Compass Group English Open
2002 Darren Clarke (3)   Northern Ireland 271 −17 3 strokes   Søren Hansen
2001 Peter O'Malley   Australia 275 −13 1 stroke   Raphaël Jacquelin
2000 Darren Clarke (2)   Northern Ireland 275 −13 1 stroke   Michael Campbell
  Mark James
1999 Darren Clarke   Northern Ireland 268 −20 2 strokes   John Bickerton
National Car Rental English Open
1998 Lee Westwood   England 271 −17 2 strokes   Greg Chalmers
  Olle Karlsson
Alamo English Open
1997 Per-Ulrik Johansson   Sweden 269 −19 2 strokes   Dennis Edlund
1996 Robert Allenby   Australia 278 −10 1 stroke   Ross McFarlane
  Colin Montgomerie
Murphy's English Open
1995 Philip Walton   Ireland 274 −14 Playoff   Colin Montgomerie
1994 Colin Montgomerie   Scotland 274 −14 1 stroke   Barry Lane
1993 Ian Woosnam   Wales 269 −19 2 strokes   Costantino Rocca
1992 Vicente Fernández   Argentina 283 −5 1 stroke   Per-Ulrik Johansson
  Fredrik Lindgren
NM English Open
1991 David Gilford   England 278 −10 2 strokes   Roger Chapman
1990 Mark James (2)   England 284 −4 Playoff   Sam Torrance
1989 Mark James   England 279 −9 1 stroke   Eamonn Darcy
  Craig Parry
  Sam Torrance
English Open
1988 Howard Clark   England 279 −9 3 strokes   Peter Baker
1984–87: No tournament
State Express English Classic
1983 Hugh Baiocchi   South Africa 279 −9 Playoff   Eamonn Darcy
  Mike Sullivan
1982 Greg Norman   Australia 279 −13 1 stroke   Brian Marchbank
1981 Rodger Davis   Australia 283 −5 2 strokes   Greg Norman
Mazda Cars English Classic
1980 Manuel Piñero   Spain 286 −2 1 stroke   Sandy Lyle
Lada English Golf Classic
1979 Seve Ballesteros   Spain 286 −2 6 strokes   Neil Coles
  Simon Hobday


  1. ^ a b "Crunch delays golf championships". BBC News. 21 January 2009. Retrieved 14 February 2009.
  2. ^ "The English Open to be Played at St Mellion from 2009". PGA European Tour. 19 March 2008. Retrieved 6 November 2008.
  3. ^ "English Open at St Mellion cancelled over lack of funds". BBC Sport. 24 March 2011. Retrieved 26 March 2011.

External linksEdit