European Tour has announced the prize money for the biggest golf event on the calendar every year.
It will be increased from $1.33 million to a total of $3 million hoping this would encourage more big-name players to take part and compete in the prestigious Dubai tournament.
Last year, some players decided to either skip the tournament or stop in the middle of it due to different reasons. This time round, they might want to rethink doing it again given the prize money will be more than double that of last year.
Justin Rose skipped last year’s tournament at the Jumeirah Golf Estates because he had no chance in going ahead of Francesco Molinari for the overall Race to Dubai title.
The only two players who were still with a chance to win the season-long money list before going into the closing event in Dubai and these were Molinari himself and Tommy Fleetwood.
The number of players to receive a monetary prize will be reduced from 60 to 50 even though the overall prize fund will still remain $8 million. The winner will receive the biggest amount out of all for a golf tournament.
Changes will also be made for the Turkish Airlines Open as well as to the Nedbank Challenge of South Africa. In fact, the Turkish tournament champion will receive a $2 million cheque while a week later, the winner in South Africa will get $2.5 million.
“The changes we have announced in terms of enhanced winner’s cheques, Race to Dubai points and bonus pool dividend are designed to increase the excitement around the end of the season, as well as encourage greater top player participation in our final three events,” said European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley.
☑ Smaller fields
☑ More points
☑ Largest prize in tournament golf
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) February 13, 2019
“Had these additional Race to Dubai points been available over the past five years, on average between five and 16 players would have come to our final event with a chance of winning the Race to Dubai, in addition to an average of 43 players having the chance to earn bonus pool money at the end of the season – both numbers considerably higher than was actually the case in those years.
“With the revised prize money breakdown and the extra Race to Dubai points in place for 2019, this provides a tremendous incentive for our players,” Pelley concluded.
Up till last year, the Race to Dubai bonus pool of $5 million was shared between the top 10 season-ranked, but now this will be split between the first five to rank throughout the season.