10 Golfers With the Most European Tour Appearances
WADE ORMSBY won the 2017 Hong Kong Open, his first victory in 264 attempts. It was a triumph for perseverance for a man who has battled with injury throughout his career and has had several trips back to qualifying school to maintain his playing privileges. The Australian was walking on cloud nine after his victory, but he has a long, long way to go before he comes anywhere close to matching the top number of appearances clocked up by the tour’s stalwarts. Here, we look at the 10 European Tour golfers who have played the most tournaments, the year they joined the tour and, crucially, the number of wins they have to their credit.
1. Sam Torrance. The Scot is the daddy of them of all. He turned profession in 1972 and played in a mind-boggling 706 tournaments. He won 21 times on the main tour, 11 times on the Seniors Tour and played for Europe in the Ryder Cup on eight occasions, and also captained the team.
2. Miguel Angel Jiménez. The Spaniard is now in his fifties and can still play a bit. He shot a final round of 63 in Hong Kong as Ormsby won. To date, Jimenez has competed in 691 tournaments since joining the European Tour back in 1983 and may well overtake Torrance. Like Torrance, he won 21 times, played in the Ryder Cup four times and has so far won four times on the Champions Tour with a swing that hasn’t changed one iota in all those years.
3. Barry Lane. The English golfer managed just five victories in 685 starts after joining the tour in 1982. He played in the Ryder Cup in 1993 but has enjoyed a new lease of life since turning 50, with six wins to his name.
4. Colin Montgomerie. The Scot won the order of merit eight times in a remarkable career and played in 638 tournaments after joining the paid ranks in 1986. He won 31 tournaments and had several near-misses in The Open, US Open and US PGA Championship. He played in eight Ryder Cup matches, never losing in the singles, and captained European to victory in 2010. He failed to win a tournament in America until he joined the Champions Tour, where he has so far enjoyed six victories.
5. Roger Chapman. The Englishman was what could best be described as a time-served journeyman. In 619 starts after turning pro in 1982 he managed just one victory, at his 472nd attempt. But then he turned 50 and, remarkably, won both the Senior US Open and Senior PGA Championship in 2012.
6. Eamonn Darcy. The man with the most distinctive swing in professional golf finished in the top 20 in the order of merit nine times. Irishman Darcy took part in 610 tournaments after making his debut in 1972, winning four times. Darcy played in the Ryder Cup four times.
7. Malcolm Mackenzie. Mackenzie’s only triumph came at the 2002 Novotel Perrier Open de France, which came in his 509th start – a European Tour record. After turning pro in 1981, he went on to play in 605 tournaments.
8. Paul Lawrie. Lawrie’s crowning glory came at The Open Championship in 1999 when he came from 10 shots back in the final round and beat Justin Leonard and Jean Van de Velde in a playoff. He has played in 601 tournaments after turning professional in 1992. Lawrie won eight times and played in two Ryder Cups.
9. Santiago Luna. The Spaniard did not exactly set the world on fire, finishing in the top 100 in the Order of Merit 12 times, with a best of 31st place in 1998. His sole win in 598 starts on the European Tour came in 1995 at Madeira Island Open. Turned pro in 1984.
10. Gordon Brand Jr. The Scot turned pro in 1981 and won twice in his rookie season (1982), going on to win eight times in 597 starts. He played in the Ryder Cup twice and has two victories on the European Seniors Tour to his credit.
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