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European Tour bosses announce schedule change

Three events to be held before DP World Tour Championship to increase excitement

Gulf News

Dubai: Three big-money events will precede next year’s DP World Tour Championship in Dubai, making for a more climactic end to the European Tour’s season-ender, it was announced on Sunday.

A ‘Final Series’ worth $30.5 million (Dh112 million), will comprise the $7 million BMW Masters, the $8.5 million WGC HSBC Champions and the $7 million Turkish Open before the $8 million DP World Tour Championship.

Any European Tour member hoping to qualify for the DP World Tour Championship — and therefore have the chance to play for The Race to Dubai bonus pool — will have to participate in two of the three tournaments preceding the season finale.

Any member participating in the first three tournaments in ‘The Final Series’ will receive a 20 per cent points bonus.

European Tour CEO George O’Grady said: “These changes are being made to bring even more drama and excitement to the conclusion of our season, and to further enhance the Race to Dubai.

“We felt there had to be an additional level of commitment from the membership to these tournaments, hence the new regulation.”

Rory McIlroy emerged triumphant at the top of the Race to Dubai money list three events before the end with a third-place finish in Singapore this year. This resulted in Luke Donald calling for a US PGA-style playoff system to ensure the action runs right to the wire in future.

Although European Tour bosses insist the changes weren’t necessarily introduced to prevent such occurrences, the tweaks will ensure future leaders won’t be as comfortable as they are now down the home straight of forthcoming Race to Dubai seasons.

“The uplift if you play on all three on the bonus points, and the liberation on the bonus pool, as well, should ensure we come into the final event,” said O’Grady.