Golf: European Tour founder Jacobs dead at 91

(AFP) - Former Ryder Cup captain and European Tour founder John Jacobs has died at the age of 91.

Jacobs played in the 1955 Ryder Cup and then led the European teams in 1979 and 1981 in the first two competitions to feature a combined side with players from across the continent.

The Englishman was instrumental in golf's modernisation after leading calls in 1954 for an increase and better distribution of prize funds.

Jacobs took up the role of tournament director-general of the PGA Executive Committee in October 1971 and would go on to establish a 'Continental Swing' which embraced the French, German and Spanish Opens.

The Spanish Open became the first official European Tour event in April 1972.

Jacobs was made an OBE in 1997 and in 2000 was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.

"John's legacy to golf is well-documented," Dr Kyle Phillpots, the PGA's executive director, told the BBC.

"In addition to his accomplishments as a player, coach and administrator, he is the person who made the European Tour happen and he is widely acknowledged as the father of modern golf coaching."

"Deeply saddened to learn that John Jacobs, founding father of the European Tour has passed away at the age of 91," a post on the European Tour's official Twitter account read.