Another record breaking season for European Tour Members reached a new high with confirmation that no fewer than 20 have earned places in the top 50 of the Official World Golf Ranking.
This eclipses the end-of-season record of 17 established in 2002 and equalled in 2003, and further demonstrates the strength in depth following The European Team’s victory in The 35th Ryder Cup Matches in Michigan, USA.
Ian Poulter, a member of the winning European Team, became the 14th European in the top 50 following his victory in the Volvo Masters Andalucia and the number has been bolstered by the presence of six international European Tour Members.
As at October 31, Vijay Singh and Ernie Els, who have successfully defended their US PGA Tour Money List and Volvo Order of Merit titles respectively this year, were Number One and Two with Retief Goosen, winner of the 2004 US Open Championship, fifth, Padraig Harrington, eighth, and Sergio Garcia, ninth.
Donald won 88.46 points from 17 US PGA Tour events but while securing a place in The Ryder Cup Team he collected 80.24 points from only six events on The European Tour International Schedule – averaging 13.37 points for each event compared to 5.2 in the United States. Having started the year outside the World Top 100 in 130th place the 26 year old finds himself in 25th place.
Jiménez stands out as a shining example of what can be achieved in Europe, earning 189.27 World Ranking points in regular European Tour events, more than any other player other than Singh on one particular Tour. The figure, for example, compares to 173.88 points won by Phil Mickelson and 158.23 points won by Tiger Woods on the US PGA Tour before the Tour Championship.
Garcia has focused much of his season on America and by October 31, with two victories on the US PGA Tour, accumulated 156.65 points compared to 62.09. Whilst at first glance this looks to heavily favour the US PGA Tour, his average points per tournament is almost identical – 15.6 on the US PGA Tour and 15.5 in Europe.
Looking solely at regular European Tour events and US PGA Tour events by excluding the Major Championships and World Golf Championships which count towards both Tours, the figures reveal that the World Ranking points won by European Tour Members in regular European Tour events after the Volvo Masters Andalucia totalled 1654.05 compared to 1498.92 on the US PGA Tour, a figure which includes a staggering 548.78 points won by Vijay Singh alone.
David Howell, Thomas Levet and Nick O’Hern have also moved up from outside the World Top 100 to inside the top 50 through playing almost solely on The European Tour.
The goal of many players around the world is to climb into the World Top 50, and as of October 31, 16 players had advanced since the start of the year from outside the top 50 into the fold, eight of which are European Tour Members who have made their gains by playing The European Tour International Schedule.
Courtsey of: www.europeantour.com