The 2006 European Tour International Schedule, which begins with five tournaments in China and South Africa before Christmas, will resume in January 2006 in Bangkok, Thailand, and spend an unprecedented three weeks in the Gulf States before visiting Australia for the Johnnie Walker Classic in Perth.

Two new tournaments form part of that early-season schedule, The Royal Trophy at Amata Spring Country Club, Bangkok, from January 5-8 and the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club from January 19-22, the first leg in a three-week ‘Gulf Swing’ comprising Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Dubai.

Leading golfers from the Continents of Europe and Asia will compete in The Royal Trophy, a prestigious new team tournament, to be played at Amata Spring Country Club in the first week of the New Year.

Sanctioned by the Asian, Japan and European Tours, The Royal Trophy will see Seve Ballesteros of Spain, fill the role of Europe’s non-playing captain.

Each team will comprise eight players, led by a captain, competing in a series of 16 matches involving foursomes, fourball and singles. The total prize fund is US$1,500,000 with the winning team sharing $1,000,000 and the runners-up sharing $500,000. Asia’s captain will be named shortly.

After that visit to Thailand, The European Tour International Schedule moves to the United Arab Emirate of Abu Dhabi, for the inaugural staging of the $2,000,000 Abu Dhabi Golf Championship at Abu Dhabi Golf Club. – the 36th different destination to be represented on The European Tour International Schedule.

The Commercial Bank of Qatar has been announced as the new title sponsor for the $2,000,000 Qatar Masters the following week in a three year agreement which will start with the 2006 edition at Doha Golf Club.

The 2006 Dubai Desert Classic, staged at the Emirates Golf Club from February 2-5, will be the richest in the tournament’s 17-year history. With a total prize fund of $2.400,000, the 2006 event will provide the field with the chance to pick up $400,000 – the biggest winner’s cheque offered for a golf event in the region.

The 2006 Johnnie Walker Classic, Asia-Pacific’s best known and most prestigious golf tournament and a fixture on The European Tour International Schedule since 1992, returns to Perth, Australia, after an absence of three years.

Presented by Johnnie Walker, the world’s leading deluxe Scotch whisky, the 14th Johnnie Walker Classic will be worth £1,250,000 and played at The Vines Resort and Country Club in Western Australia from February 9-12, 2006.

The full European Tour International Schedule will be released shortly.

For further information, contact:
Communications Division
The European Tour
Tel: +44 (0) 1344 840400
Fax: +44 (0) 1344 840444

Gordon Simpson
Director of Communications
Direct line: +44 (0) 1344 840454
Fax:  +44 (0) 1344 840444
Mob: +44 (0) 7899 940030