Epson Grand Prix of Europe Golf Tournament

The Epson Grand Prix of Europe was a golf tournament on the European Tour during parts of the 1980s and 1990s. It began as a match-play tournament but ended as a stroke-play event.

First played: 1986

Last played: 1991

A European Tour event played in Wales, the Epson Grand Prix of Europe used a match-play format for the first four years of its history. Its final two years it was a standard, 72-hole stroke-play tournament. None of the golfers who reached the championship match in match play were among the first- or second-place finishers in the two stroke-play years.

Winners of the Epson Grand Prix of Europe

Match play:

1986 — Ove Sellberg def. Howard Clark, 3 and 2
1987 — Mats Lanner def. Jeff Hawkes, 1-up
1988 — Bernhard Langer def. Mark McNulty, 4 and 3
1989 — Seve Ballesteros def. Denis Durnian, 4 and 3

Stroke play:

1990 — Ian Woosnam, 271
1991 — Jose Maria Olazabal, 265

The first two winners were little-known Swedes, but the last four champions were (or would be) major championship winners: Langer, Ballesteros, Woosnam and Olazabal.

Ballesteros' victory in 1989 was his 41st career win on the European Tour, and the only one that was match play. That number of wins is greater than all but two other golfers in European Tour history (Ballesteros eventually finished with 50).

Another Spaniard, Olazabal, had the most-dominating victory. He won the last year the tournament was played by nine strokes over runner-up Mark James. That was one year after Olazabal had tied for second behind Woosnam.

Also known as: It was originally named the Epson Grand Prix of Europe Matchplay Championship.

Golf course: St. Pierre Hotel & Country Club in Chepstown, Wales, was the host site every year.

Popular posts from this blog