The Race to Dubai has been around since have been around as a concept since 2009, but the format and points system have changed for 2016. However, since most European Tour fans really only think about how the Race to Dubai and the Final Series work in the three-event series itself, it’s always helpful to have a refresher.
The Race to Dubai points system has replaced the Order of Merit in determining how players earn their European Tour cards, with the top 100 (was 110 in 2016) players earning spots for the next season at the end of the Portugal Masters.
Race to Dubai points earned in each European Tour event typically equate to the money earned in Euros by each player. Some events offer bonus or multiplier points.
Then the regular season concludes with the WGC-HSBC Champions, which used to be a part of the Final Series when it was four events. However, the nature of the field makeup compelled the European Tour to exclude it starting in 2016. Now, the Final Series is actually part of the Rolex Series, a broader, season-long list of events with purses of $7 million or more.
The three-event Final Series now begins with 78 players (the top 70 in the Race to Dubai standings automatically qualify) in the no-cut Turkish Airlines Open. Then, 72 players (the top 64 in the Race to Dubai standings automatically qualify) get into the Nedbank Golf Challenge, which is now part of the Final Series and has its largest-ever field. Then the top 60 players in the standings move on to the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai to end the season. At the end of the season, the top 10 players in the final Race to Dubai standings earn a portion of the $5 million bonus pool.
(Players who finish in the top 10 in the standings must compete in the DP World Tour Championship to claim their bonus money. That money is not re-allocated to other players otherwise.)
European Tour Race to Dubai bonus pool
Past Race to Dubai champions
- 2009 — Lee Westwood
- 2010 — Martin Kaymer
- 2011 — Luke Donald
- 2012 — Rory McIlroy
- 2013 — Henrik Stenson
- 2014 — Rory McIlroy
- 2015 — Rory McIlroy
- 2016 — Henrik Stenson
- 2017 — Tommy Fleetwood
- 2018 — Francesco Molinari