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Mon 21 Apr 2008 01:18 PM

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Course to host world's richest golf tournament chosen

$10mn Dubai World Championship will take place on 'Earth' course at Jumeirah Golf Estate.

The world’s richest golf tournament is set to take place on the ‘Earth’ golf course at Dubai’s Jumeirah Golf Estates, the organisers said on Monday.The Earth course, designed by former world No.1 Greg Norman, will host the inaugural Dubai World Championship in November 2009, a tournament offering a $10 million prize fund.

Leisurecorp, owner of Jumeirah Golf Estates, announced in November the partnership with The European Tour to create The Dubai World Championship.

Players will qualify for The Dubai World Championship during the 'Race to Dubai', a season-long competition replacing the European Tour Order of Merit.

The $10 million prize fund will be divided between the top 15 players. The Race to Dubai winner will receive $2 million, the runner-up will pocket $1.5 million and the third-placed player will get $1 million.

Norman said in a statement on Monday the final four holes of the Earth course would offer a spectacular finish.

“I think the entire course has a great balance, but the finish will really stand out… I expect it will be considered one of the most challenging and exciting miles of golf, in terms of risk and reward,” he said.

The Earth courses are expected to be ready for play by the end of 2008

Earth is one of four elementally-themed golf courses being developed by Jumeirah Golf Estates. Norman is also designing a 'Fire' course as part of the first phase of the project.

Vijay Singh is designing a ‘Water’ course for the estate, while a 'Wind' course will carry the names of Norman, Sergio Garcia and golf course designer Pete Dye.

The British Open is currently the richest major golf tournament at $8.6 million, with the Masters, US Open and US PGA all just under $7 million last year.

The US Tour's Players Championship is the richest single event, offering a prize fund of almost $9 million.

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