Dubai Shakes World Order with 'Richest Event'

Article excerpt

--golf

By James Corriganin Dubai

From next season the European Tour will climax with what is claimed will be the "world's richest and most exciting tournament" in a radical shake-up of the calendar that is causing reverberations across the golfing landscape.

With an overall prize pot of almost 10m, the Dubai World Championship will replace the Volvo Masters as the grand finale to the campaign - which will now run, blessedly, from January to November instead of October to October - with the Order of Merit giving way to the "Race To Dubai".

The top 60 performers on the money list will qualify for the event, due to make its debut in November 2009, with the first prize worth more than 800,000 and the "Race To Dubai" bonus, almost 1m. It means that one putt at the end of the week could be worth 1.8m.

Intriguingly, however, the "world's richest and most exciting golfer" may not be there. Tiger Woods is not a member of the European Tour and would be ineligible. To join the Tour, the world No 1 would have to fill in a form, pay a 250 fee and play in 11 tournaments on the schedule. …