Most Wins in a Single Season on the European Tour

Which golfer holds the all-time record for most wins in a single season on the European Tour? That record-holder is Seve Ballesteros, which is not surprising given that Ballesteros won more European Tour tournaments overall than anyone else.

What might be surprising, though, is that the record for most wins in single season on the European is "only" six. Ballesteros won six times in the 1986 season to set the record. (One explanation for why the number isn't higher is that most of the best European Tour golfers split their seasons between the Euro Tour and the U.S. PGA Tour.)

These are the six tournaments Ballesteros won in 1986 to set the record:

  • Dunhill British Masters: 67-68-70-70—275 (-13), won by two over Gordon Brand Jr.
  • Carrolls Irish Open: 68-75-68-74—285 (-3), won by two over Rodger Davis and Mark McNulty
  • Monte Carlo Open: 66-71-64-64—265 (–11), won by two over Mark McNulty
  • French Open: 65-66-69-69—269 (–19), won by two over Vicente Fernandez
  • KLM Dutch Open: 69-63-71-68—271 (–9), won by eight over Jose Rivero
  • Trophée Lancôme: 67-69-68-70—274 (–14), tied Bernhard Langer, title shared
Note that Ballesteros is the only European Tour golfer to win at least six official tour events in a single season on that circuit. (The reason for this distinction will become clear momentarily.)

Today's European Tour only dates to 1972. Whose record did Ballesteros break? The only golfer with as many as five official tour victories in a single Euro Tour year before Ballesteros' six in 1986 was Nick Faldo, who won five official titles in 1983.

In the European Tour media guide, the tour, when considering this record, includes several other golfers who won six times total when combining official wins with victories in "approved special events." (An "approved special event" would be a tournament not staged by the European Tour, but one that nevertheless appeared on the Euro Tour schedule.)

When including "approved special events," these three other golfers also reached six victories in a single season on the European Tour:

  • Nick Faldo, 1992: 4 official wins (Carrolls Irish Open, British Open, Scandinavian Masters, European Open) plus 2 approved special events (Toyota World Match Play Championship, Johnnie Walker World Championship)
  • Colin Montgomerie, 1999: 5 official wins (Benson & Hedges International Open, Volvo PGA Championship, Standard Life Loch Lomond, Scandinavian Masters, BMW International Open) plus 1 approved special event (Cisco World Match Play Championship)
  • Lee Westwood, 2000: 5 official wins (TPC of Europe, European Grand Prix, European Open, Scandinavian Masters, Belgacom Open) plus 1 approved special event (Cisco World Match Play Championship)

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