The Race to Dubai playoffs format has changed several times since the concept was introduced, and the Race to Dubai playoffs format that is now used started with the 2018-2019 European Tour season.
Explaining the Race to Dubai playoffs format means detailing how players earn Race to Dubai points, qualify for the final events to the DP World Tour Championship and then battle it out to see who wins the $2 million first-place prize.
2020 Race to Dubai playoff format
How to qualify
As has been the case since the start of the Race to Dubai, the entire European Tour regular season leads to the Race to Dubai conclusion, with each official European Tour event offering points to players who made the 36-hole cut based on a standardized system related to the purse as quoted in US dollars. For each regular European Tour event, the winner earns a certain number Race to Dubai points. The four majors, World Golf Championships and the BMW Championship offer more points. Typically, the final three events all offer elevated points, but in 2020, only the DP World Tour Championship is played, and it offers 2,000 points to the winner of the event.
All of the points from regular season events are tallied together at the conclusion of the regular season, which this year came with the completion of both the South African Open and Golf in Dubai Championship. The top 60 players in the Race to Dubai standings at the end of those tournaments qualify for the Race to Dubai finale in the DP World Tour Championship. The top 110 players in points typically retain their status for the next season, but given the pandemic, those playing privileges have been extended by a year for 2019-2020 card holders.
The top 60 available players qualify for the DP World Tour Championship. In a twist this year, players in the top 75 in the Official World Golf Ranking who had not otherwise qualified are in the field, too.
The top five finishers in the Race to Dubai standings after the DP World Tour Championship claim a share of the bonus pool.
Race to Dubai playoff events and cuts
Typically, three Race to Dubai playoff events would be played (instead of what had been four). The Race to Dubai playoff events would normally whittle a field of 70 down to 50 for the final event at the Tour Championship. The points are increased by a factor from the regular season events, with a winner picking up 2,000 Race to Dubai points in the finale. Points typically earned in each of the first two legs of the playoffs are added to a player's regular season tally, with the field for subsequent playoff events determined on the combined points.
DP World Tour Championship format
Starting in 2019, the DP World Tour Championship format is a 72-hole, stroke-play tournament with no handicaps or cut. The player who wins the event earns 2,000 Race to Dubai points, and each player completing the event earns points. At the conclusion, the points leader wins the season-long race.
However, there remains great incentive to win the season-ending tournament. The winner's share from the $8 million purse is $3 million, with the remaining $5 million paid to the rest of the field using standard European Tour pay scales.
Win both the season finale and the season-long race, and a player claims a $5 million payday.