>>The 2009 European Tour Race to Dubai International Schedule

The European Tour’s Race to Dubai has been launched and on November 6, action will commence in Shanghai, China, for the HSBC Champions.

A star-studded field is expected in the Far East, which will mark the beginning of the exciting fresh-faced competition with 53 tournaments to be thrashed out in 26 destinations.

Five ‘new’ events, in addition to the HSBC Champions and the UBS Hong Kong Open, which will be played twice in the 2009 schedule, contribute to a record-breaking number of tournaments this coming season – the Czech Golf Open, The English Open, the Canal + Open, the Volvo World Match Play Championship and The Dubai World Championship.

In 2010 the European Tour will start with the South African Open on the Jack Nicklaus-designed course at the Pearl Valley Golf Estates in the Western Cape and conclude with The Dubai World Championship at the Jumeirah Golf Estates, where the competition will also climax in November 2009.

Leisurecorp, the Dubai World company specialising in developments and sports related investments, will host the start and finish of The 2010 European Tour International Schedule.

Having acquired Turnberry, home to next year’s Open Championship, Leisurecop are an integral part of Europe’s answer to the PGA Tour, and European Tour Chief Executive George O’Grady has expressed his delight in their wide-ranging partnership.

“The Race to Dubai will bring a new dimension to The European Tour and the partnership with Leisurecorp is central to our plans for the future so we are particularly delighted that three of their prestigious golf facilities are hosting competition in 2009, and that Pearl Valley Golf Estates and Jumeirah Golf Estates will start and finish the 2010 season.

“The 2009 European Tour International Schedule confirms how The European Tour has become ever-more global in its outlook with 26 destinations now featured with the Czech Golf Open returning for the first time in 12 years.”

The English Open will also return after an absence of seven years at St Mellion International Resort, Cornwall. In addition, other notable changes sees the Johnnie Walker Classic return to The Vines Resort & Country Club, Perth, Western Australia, where it was last played in 2006, and the Indonesia Open move to the New Kuta Golf Club in Bali.

Elsewhere September’s Omega European Masters at Crans-sur-Sierre, Crans Montana, Switzerland, will once again launch the start of the qualifying race for places in The European Team for The Ryder Cup – the biennial event will be played at The Celtic Manor Resort, South Wales in 2010.