European Tour to boast biggest first-placed prize money in golf in 2019

Phil Casey
The Independent

The biggest first prize in golf will be offer on the European Tour in 2019 as part of changes to the final three Rolex Series events.

The winner of the season-ending DP World Tour Championship in Dubai will pocket £2.3m, an increase of 125 per cent on the £1.03m won by Danny Willett in November.

For the last two years Brooks Koepka has claimed the biggest first prize for an individual tournament, the world number two winning £1.67m for his back-to-back US Open victories.

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The winner of this year’s Players Championship will collect £1.7million for victory at Sawgrass.

In addition to the increased purse in Dubai, the winners of the preceding events – the Turkish Airlines Open and Nedbank Golf Challenge – will now collect £1.5m and £1.9m respectively.

The field sizes for the final three events of the season have also been revised, with the top 70 on the Race to Dubai qualifying for Turkey, the top 60 progressing to South Africa and the leading 50 competing in Dubai.

A £3.8m bonus pool will now be divided between the final top five on the Race to Dubai, rather than the top 10, with the 2019 winner earning £1.5m.

European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley will hope such changes can attract some of the game’s biggest stars, with Rory McIlroy having only committed to play two regular events in 2019 to date.

The winner of the DP Tour World Championship will now take away £2.3m (Getty)
The winner of the DP Tour World Championship will now take away £2.3m (Getty)

“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,” Pelley said.

“We have undertaken significant analysis recently and have found that, 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.”

PA

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