The future of the European Tour's Race to Dubai is secure until 2014
The World Tour Championship will also take place in Dubai for next three years
Prize fund for Race to Dubai and season-ending tournament has been increased
Luke Donald made history in Dubai on Sunday with his money list triumph
Golf’s European Tour has reached a new agreement to continue the Race to Dubai and keep the lucrative season-ending championship in the United Arab Emirates until the end of 2014.
The 2011 circuit came to an close on Sunday, when world number one Donald made history by becoming the first player to win both the European and PGA Tour money lists.
The Dubai World Championship, won by Spaniard Alvaro Quiros with Donald third, will be renamed the DP World Tour Championship to reflect the new main sponsor – Dubai-based marine port operator DP World.
Its prize fund will increase by $500,000 to $8 million, with the tournament winner receiving a check for $1.33 million, and Jumeirah Golf Estates’ Earth Course will again be the host venue.
“We are delighted to be announcing the start of a new phase for the Race to Dubai and, specifically, the newly-retitled DP World Tour Championship,” European Tour chief executive George O’Grady said in a statement.
The Race to Dubai was first contested in 2009, replacing the Order of Merit format which had been in place since 1999. This year it comprised 52 tournaments across 29 destinations.
The new bonus pool, currently $7.5 million to be shared by the top 15 players at season’s end, has yet to be finalized.
The World Tour Championship is contested between the top 60 players on the money list, and the 2012 edition will be played November 22-25.
“The Dubai World Championship has enjoyed considerable success over the last three years on the Earth Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates,” said Ali Ahmed Rashid Lootah, chairman of Nakheel, the construction company which manages the venue.
“The achievement of this event to date has projected this sporting spectacle onto the world stage and created enormous interest from golf enthusiasts around the globe.”
The first European Tour tournament of 2012 is the Africa Open in South Africa from January 6. It was won this year by home favorite Louis Oosthuizen.