The European Tour Order of Merit Winners

Before the inaugural 2009 Race to Dubai, The European Tour Order of Merit was the season-long competition based on The Tour’s International Schedule. Attracting the greatest players of our time and putting up some of the highest player money in PGA history, The Order of Merit’s 39 years on the circuit have produced some of the most memorable highlights in golfing history.

2008 - Robert Karlsson

Robert Karlsson ensured his place in the annals of European Tour history when he became the first Swedish player to win The Order of Merit in 2008. Karlsson entered the season-ending Volvo Masters with a commanding lead thanks to a supremely consistent season which saw him win the Mercedes-Benz Championship and the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship as well as notch ten other top-ten finishes including the Masters Tournament, the US Open Championship and The Open Championship. His tie for 32nd at Valderrama was good enough to maintain his position as Number One, as his main challengers, Pádraig Harrington and Lee Westwood, did not perform quite well enough to triumph. Karlsson ended the season with €2,732,748 in winnings, with Harrington second with €2,459,109 and Westwood third with €2,424,642. Wins in Germany and Scotland took his number of European Tour titles to nine, sealing his place as Sweden’s most prolific champion. In between his two wins, he enjoyed a superb Ryder Cup, which included a stunning 5 and 3 singles win against Justin Leonard while he closed the year in style, partnering with Henrik Stenson to a Swedish victory in the Omega Mission Hills World Cup.

2007 - Justin Rose

Justin Rose ended the 2007 season in sensational fashion with victory in the Volvo Masters at Valderrama, beating Simon Dyson and Søren Kjeldsen in a play-off, to help him finish Number One on The Order of Merit and win the coveted Harry Vardon Trophy for the first time. It was the Englishman’s second title of the 2007 season, having claimed his first with a two-shot triumph at the MasterCard Masters in Australia. That was the beginning of a superb year, which saw him make the cut and feature in all four of the Major Championships. Rose finished second of the seven, behind Tiger Woods, in terms of aggregate to par for the four Majors.

2006 - Padraig Harrington

Padraig Harrington secured the Harry Vardon Trophy as The European Tour’s Number One Player after a thrilling end to his 2006 season. A regular Ryder Cup player since 1999, Harrington played his part in the record equaling 18 ½ - 9 ½ defeat of the USA in The Ryder Cup at The K Club in his home country. In 1997, Harrington teamed up with Paul McGinley at Kiawah Island to win the World Cup for Ireland, the first win for the country in 39 years.

2005 - Colin Montgomerie

Colin Montgomerie capped off his 2005 season by winning an unprecedented eighth Order of Merit title, following seven consecutive years (1993 to 1999) finishing as the Number One earner in the season-long competition. At The Belfry in 2002, Colin led the European Ryder Cup Team from the front to win, and followed that victory with the winning putt at Oakland Hills for the 2004 Cup. The seven-time Ryder Cup veteran holds the record as the most prolific British golfer in European Tour history, with 31 titles to date.

2004 - Ernie Els

Ernie Els won The European Tour Order of Merit in both 2003 and 2004. Always a strong supporter of European golf, Els was unanimously awarded with an Honorary Life Membership to The European Tour in 1999 in recognition of his US Open Championship wins and his unprecedented World Match Play Championship victories in 1994, 1995 and 1996—a feat he went on to repeat in 2002, 2003 and 2004. In 1992 at age 23, Els matched the feat of compatriot Gary Player by winning the South African Open, PGA and Masters titles, which propelled him to the top of world golf.

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