By Andy Sambidge
European Tour, Nakheel Leisure announce new prizes amid global financial crisis.
The European Tour announced on Monday that the prize money for The Race to Dubai Bonus Pool and the Dubai World Championship will be reduced by 25 percent.
Both have been cut to $7.5m each, making a total purse now of $15m, down from the original $20m.
First prize for the Bonus Pool will be $1.5m and first prize for the Dubai World Championship will be $1.25m, the Tour said in a statement.
Following a three-day trip to Dubai, George O’Grady, chief executive of The European Tour, said: “We have been assured that our agreement is proceeding substantially as planned. The Earth course at Jumeirah Golf Estates looks superb, and work is being completed on the public areas, car parks, and access roads for the Dubai World Championship on November 19-22.
"The European Tour has offered to reduce the prize money to reflect the current worldwide economic position and we will jointly examine prize money levels in future years in the light of this developing global situation.”
Hamza Mustafa, managing director of Nakheel Leisure, added: “Nakheel is committed to The Race to Dubai and the Dubai World Championship. The prize funds for both competitions are significant amounts that are worthy of the season-ending tournament and world-class field that will be competing, yet reflective of a new economic climate.
"We look forward to staging an excellent Dubai World Championship on our outstanding new Earth course at Jumeirah Golf Estates in November.”
The Race to Dubai – a season-long competition for the world’s leading golfers – will see the top 60 players qualify for the Dubai World Championship following which the 15 top ranked players will share the Bonus Pool.
The winner of The Race to Dubai will also receive a seven year European Tour exemption, and the winner of the Dubai World Championship will win a five year exemption.
Germany’s Martin Kaymer, England’s Paul Casey and Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy lead the way moving into the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland from October 1-4.