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Monday, June 24, 2024

Ryan Fox, best player of the DP World Tour

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The “Seve Ballesteros Award”, the recognition for the best player of the DP World Tour 2022, went to Ryan Fox. Delivery took place in Dubai.

Ryan Fox, statements

Voted Best Player of the Year by his peers, Ryan Fox stood out as the first New Zealander since 2005 (Michael Campbell) to receive this accolade.

Last year, the 36-year-old from Auckland first won the Ras Al Khaimah Classic and then the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, to finally finish in second place – behind only Rory McIlroy, world number 1 – in the order of merit of the maximum men’s continental circuit.

With 50% of the votes of his colleagues, Fox surpassed McIlroy and Matt Fitzpatrick, receiving the “Seve Ballesteros Award” twelve months after Jon Rahm. “I never expected to be awarded with this recognition. The fact of having been crowned by so many fellow golfers makes it all the more incredible” explains Fox’s satisfaction.

Professional golf originated in Europe, specifically in Scotland. The first professionals were craftsmen who built the clubs and course managers who also taught golf to the wealthy who could afford to play (the first equipment, all handmade, was very expensive) and played a few games against each other in exchange for small fees.

The first tournament with multiple entrants was the British Open, created in 1860. That year it was restricted to professionals and featured eight players. The following year, amateurs were also admitted. Contrary to what happens in other sports, the difference between amateurs and professionals has never created particular problems, at least at the highest levels of competition.

In the decades following the birth of the British Open, the number of tournaments offering cash prizes slowly but steadily increased. Most took place in the UK, but several national open tournaments were also held in various countries in mainland Europe.

However, for several years it was impossible for players to support themselves only thanks to the prizes won. Beginning in 1901, British professionals were represented by the Professional Golfers’ Association, which eventually created the European Tour.

After the Second World War the prize money began to increase significantly, also thanks to the television coverage of the competitions. However, each tournament remained organized separately by a single club, by an association or by a sponsor.

The PGA Tour had already existed in the United States since the 1930s, so in 1972 the Professional Golfers’ Association founded the European Tour. In the early years, the season lasted six months, ran from April to October and took place entirely in Europe, in Great Britain and Ireland.

For example, the 1972 season consisted of 20 tournaments, 12 of which were in the United Kingdom and one in Ireland. Of the seven tournaments played in continental Europe, six were the national open i.e. the Dutch, German, Italian, French, Spanish and Swiss ones, while the seventh was the Madrid Open.

Over the next three decades the tour gradually expanded and globalized. The first tournament played outside Europe was the Tunisian Open in 1982. In that year the season was 27 tournaments and extended until the month of November. In 1984 the PGA European Tour became independent from the Professional Golfers’ Association.

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