Europe’s elite players are about to become even richer thanks to a significant cash investment into the final three tournaments on the 2019 European Tour schedule.
Hopefully it will stop Europe’s best bailing on end-of-season events.
The winner of this year’s DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, the Euro Tour’s season finale and the last Rolex event of the year, will take home $3 million, compared to the $1.3 million Danny Willett received last year.
The two preceding Rolex Series tournaments, the Turkish Airlines Open and Nedbank Challenge, also receive significant increases. The Turkish Airlines winner will earn $2 million versus the $1.16 million Justin Rose picked up last year. The Nedbank Challenge features a first-place prize of $2.5 million, double what Lee Westwood won in 2018.
Prize money unchanged, winners get more
Total prize funds for all three events has not changed. Turkey offers a total fund of $7 million, Nedbank $7.5 million, with the DP World worth $8 million. The difference is the winner now takes more of a lion’s share: the rest of the field will play for $5 million purses in all three events.
The Euro Tour instituted a new points system this season for its Race to Dubai, with total money no longer deciding who ends the year European number one. The Tour has revised the points available for the last three events. The Turkish event is now worth 2,000 points more at 9,000, Nedbank moves from 7,500 to 10,000, while the DP World benefits from a 4,000 points raise to 12,000.
Field sizes have been altered, too. The top 70 will play Turkey moving to 60 for Nedbank and only the top 50 in Dubai.
Only the top five players at the end of the 2019 Race to Dubai will share the bonus pool instead of the 10 that benefited last year. Top prize for the player finishing European number one is now $2 million instead of the $1.25 million Francesco Molinari left Dubai with last year as Europe’s top dog.
‘Tremendous incentive for our players’
“The changes we have announced today 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 for our fans, as well as encourage greater top player participation in our final three events,” European Tour CEO Keith Pelley said.
“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.”
Justin Rose and Paul Casey sat out last year’s DP World Tour Championship, while Turkey and the Nedbank struggled to attract all the top players.
Pelley will be hoping money talks so his PGA Tour-based marquee names support the final three events, especially the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai.