Norman predicts decrease in prize money

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Two-time British Open champion Greg Norman predicts that the prize money in golf will continue to decrease because of the recession.

The 54-year-old Australian spoke Wednesday before the start of the Dubai World Championship, the European Tour’s season-ending event. The tournament opens Thursday on the Norman-designed Earth Course.

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Greg Norman thinks prize money will continue to shrink because of the recession.

The tournament originally had a $10 million prize fund, but it was reduced to $7.5 million in September because of the global economic downturn.

“Golf is not going to be like it used to be. It’s tough out there – tough in business,” Norman said. “... I have gone through the cycle of things being really good and then going through another cycle.

“But I don’t think the young generation see it because they have never seen it before. I have been through three recessions.”

Norman advised golfers to avoid complacency.

“We golfers have got to step up to the plate and be alert to it,” he said. “We have all had to tighten our belts, and I think it would be very responsible of the players to be cognizant of that.”

England's Lee Westwood, who has won about $3 million this year, said the prize in Dubai – the winner will get $1.25 million – is still a lot.

“We should not complain about the cut in the prize fund here because we are still competing for an awful lot of money,” he said, “and we are aware that some of golf sponsors are struggling at the moment.”

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