International Sports

Golf's European Tour to offer the sport's biggest first prize of $3 million

Key Points
  • The winner of the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai will take home the biggest check in golf.
  • The overall prize pot remains the same but fewer players will take part.
Sergio Garcia of Spain celebrates after defeating Justin Rose (not pictured) of England on the first playoff hole during the final round of the 2017 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 9, 2017 in Augusta, Georgia.
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The largest winning prize in the history of tournament golf has been announced by the European tour, with a record $3 million on offer to the winner of the season-ending DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.

The new figure more than doubles what Englishman Danny Willett took home with for winning the same event in November 2018.

The DP World Tour Championship is the final Rolex Series tournament of the season on the European Tour. The preceding two events on the calendar – the Turkish Airlines Open and the Nedbank Golf Challenge (both in November) also have received boosts to their first prizes. Those events have substantially increased first prize to $2 million and $2.5 million respectively.

"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." European Tour Chief Executive Keith Pelley said in a statement Wednesday.

Overall prize pots at the tournaments have remained the same, with the European Tour choosing to reduce the number of competitors in the field for each event and therefore top-load the winner's share.

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For the past two years, prize money given to the winner of The Masters in the United States has been $1.98 million, while the 2018 U.S. Open paid out $2.16 million to winner Brooks Koepka. Tiger Woods' Tour Championship win last year earned him a first prize of $1.62 million.

The European Tour has said it wants to retain the interests of its eligible top player's right up until the end of the season through additional bonus point and money incentives. Current world number one Justin Rose opted not to play in the DP World Tour Championship last season, in favour of a PGA tour event, but under this revised structure Pelley hopes that they can keep the best eligible players involved.

"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

The bonus pool, which is distributed at the end of the season, will now be divided amongst the top five players in the Race to Dubai instead of the top ten. This year's winner will claim $2 million, up from the $1.25 million awarded to Francesco Molinari for finishing top of last year's Race to Dubai standings.