A three-year agreement has been reached between the European Tour and new Danish promoters, Danish Golf Company, to stage the Nordic Open.
It reflects the emergence of the Danes on tour in 2003, with no fewer than four players winning titles during a season in which one of them, Thomas Bjorn, played a leading role in Europe's victory in the Ryder Cup.
Bjorn also captured an individual title in 2002 when he regained the BMW International Open he won in 2000. And Anders Hansen made his winning breakthrough at the Volvo PGA Championship only weeks before his close friend, Soren Hansen, won the Murphy's Irish Open after a four-man play-off.
Just last month, Steen Tinning became a winner for a second time when he won the Telefonica Open de Madrid. In addition to those winners, Soren Kjeldsen and Mads Vibe-Hastrup have also shown considerable promise on The European Tour.
Promoter Danish Golf Company has worked for more than two years to bring a European Tour event to Denmark. Anders Sorensen, former European Tour professional and now chief executive officer of Danish Golf Company, said, 'Golf is the fastest growing sport in Denmark, and I and a number of dedicated partners have worked hard to establish the right foundation for promoting such a huge event as the Nordic Open.'
Sorensen, a successful player on tour for eight years and later Denmark's national coach before he chose to focus on his ambition of a leading event in his native country, believes that the Nordic Open is 'probably biggest sports event on Danish soil ever.
'A number of national and international companies have chosen to endorse this tournament on different levels of financial commitment. And we are also very pleased with the help we'll get from the owner of Simon's Golf Club, Mr. Arne Simonsen,' added Sorensen, who revealed that a number of other companies and institutions have assisted in helping the tournament become a reality.
The Nordic Open has already secured commitments from Bjorn, Anders Hansen and Soren Hansen to play in the inaugural event, just one week before the U.S. PGA Championship at Oak Hill.
Sorensen said, 'Our visions are ambitious. The Nordic Open shall, in the years to come, be perceived as a main tournament on the calendar, and we've taken extra measures to make this a really special event for the spectators, players, caddies, officials and for the sponsors.'
Ken Schofield, executive director of The European Tour, commented, 'Denmark has developed into a thriving golfing environment over the past few years, culminating in the remarkable achievements of Anders, Soren, Steen and Thomas in winning tournaments in the same calendar year. This tournament will further enhance the eminent status of Nordic golf.
'Thomas has proved himself to be a wonderful ambassador for Denmark in representing Europe in two winning Ryder Cups, and his successes has unquestionably motivated Anders, Soren, Steen and other outstanding Danish talents such as Soren Kjeldsen and Mads Vibe-Hastrup.'