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 2019. 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 110 players earning spots for the next season at the end of the Portugal Masters.
Race to Dubai points earned in each European Tour event is based upon the purse of the event, with more points going to Rolex Series event, World Golf Championships and major championships.
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 74 players (the top 70 in the Race to Dubai standings automatically qualify) in the no-cut Turkish Airlines Open. Then, 64 players (the top 60 in the Race to Dubai standings automatically qualify) get into the Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa, which is dubbed Africa's Major. Then the top 50 players in the standings move on to the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai to end the season.
The Turkish Airlines Open, Nedbank Golf Challenge and DP World Tour Championship in Dubai now offer larger first-place payouts to entice more top players to compete.
The Turkish Airlines Open purse will remain at $7 million, but the winner will now receive $2,000,000. The champion of the Nedbank Golf Challenge will now receive $2.5 million from the same $7.5 million purse. Finally, the champion of the season-ending DP World Tour Championship in Dubai will earn $3 million from the same $8 million purse. The remaining prize money for each of the three no-cut events will then be paid out as though the rest of the field were playing for a $5 million purse. The second-place finisher in each of the events will win $833,330, or what would be the winner's check in a $5 million European Tour event.
These three events will see an increase in total Race to Dubai points: 9,000 at the Turkish Airlines Open (up from 7,000); 10,000 at the Nedbank Golf Challenge (up from 7,500); and 12,000 at the DP World Tour Championship (up from 8,000).
At the end of the season, the top five players in the final Race to Dubai standings earn a portion of the $5 million bonus pool.
(Players who finish in the top five 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
- 1. $2,000,000
- 2. $1,250,000
- 3. $750,000
- 4. $600,000
- 5. $400,000
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