In 2008, the European Tour were shouting from the hill tops about the news of a massive influx of cash from the Emirate that would bring a whole new dimension to their schedule.
This year, that most lavish of launches has been replaced by an email telling of a reduced bonus pot available for this year’s exciting Race to Dubai.
Unfortunately it’s a sign of the current economic times that the Tour’s top players will not be able to cash in this year to the extent they have done in previous ones.
Three years ago, just as the “Race to Dubai” was being launched, the world’s economic crisis began.
An immediate re-Jig of the deal was required to keep the concept alive. Instead of $10m being split between the top 15 in the Order of Merit, the fund to finance the newly branded Race quickly became $7.5m. (Still not bad considering it’s only a game and world was in supposed economic melt down)
The purse for the new season-ending Dubai World Championship was similarly reduced.
Last month, Luke Donald became the third world number one to win the Race, the Tour announced a three-year extension to the running of the championship, with its prize money rising to $8m .