sport

European Tour in "a good place"

George O'Grady says the European Tour can "face the future with confidence" following the agreement of another sponsorship deal.

Following recent deals with Rolex, Jumeirah Estates and Emirates Airline, the Tour announced on Monday that BMW had signed a four-year extension to their current partnership through to the end of the 2018 season.

The agreement covers sponsorship of three tournaments on the European Tour - the flagship BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth which begins on Thursday, the BMW International Open in Germany and the BMW Masters in China - and also BMW's position as official car to the Tour and Ryder Cup partner.

"The reality is that we've been through one of the strongest recessions of all times in the Eurozone crisis, but at the end of last year we did some very, very major deals, one with Rolex, one with Jumeirah Estates - which is effectively the Dubai government - and one with Emirates Airline and we'd shaken hands on this BMW deal on the Sunday of the BMW Masters," chief executive O'Grady said.

"I think we are in a good place right now. America is very strong, the tax rate is very beneficial, but we're in a good spot. This is an outstanding agreement for golf and the European Tour in particular. It means we can face the future with confidence."

Dr Ian Robertson, member of the board of management of BMW AG, added: "The fact that we are extending all these commitments to 2018 and that we have chosen to announce this next step in our joint success story here at the BMW PGA Championship only serves to underline the significance of this event.

"It is a cornerstone of all our sponsorship commitments that we aim to create a special experience for everyone involved by highlighting BMW's premium philosophy, while striving for a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. I believe we have achieved this with noteworthy success in the world of golf."