The European Tour is changing the Race to Dubai points system, doing so for the 2018-2019 season with the goal of narrowing the gap between the Tour's biggest events -- the four majors, World Golf Championships and Rolex Series events -- and the second-tier events often competing futilely against the world's biggest golf tournaments.
In previous years, the Race to Dubai made the points system pretty easy: each $1 earned equaled 1 Race to Dubai point. However, this created a huge disparity in points earned in richer tournaments. For example, with the US Open purse at $12 million, the winner -- if a European Tour member -- earned 2,160,000 Race to Dubai points. Meanwhile, the winner of an event like the Belgian Knockout received approximately 190,000 points for their win in a €1 million event.
Further, not every tournament pays out with the same structure. For instance, the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational had a $10 million purse for a no-cut event, while the British Open had a $10.25 million purse for an event with a 36-hole cut to the top 70 and ties. Players didn't earn the same money no matter where they finished event though the purse was fundamentally the same.
In an effort to not only reduce the effect of the huge purse disparities on the European Tour and the various payout distribution models, the European Tour has standardized the amount of Race to Dubai points available per tournament based on its total purse.
New European Tour Race to Dubai points tiers
Showing total points available
- Less than $1,750,000: 2000 points
- $1,750,000-$2,499,999: 2750 points
- $2,500,000-$3,249,999: 3500 points
- $3,250,000-$3,999,999: 4250 points
- $4,000,000-$4,999,999: 5000 points
- $5,000,000-$5,499,999: 5500 points
- Rolex Series events ($7,000,000): 7000 points
- Rolex Series events ($7,500,000): 7500 points
- Rolex Series events ($8,000,000): 8000 points
- World Golf Championships (WGC): 9000 points
- Major championships: 10000 points
The European Tour will then dole out points based on a standardized distribution, where a player who finishes solo fifth would earn 0.48 percent of the points pool for an event.
Effectively, this change reduces the disparity from the biggest purses to the smallest purses from 12-to-1 to 5-to-1 in terms of Race to Dubai points.
The Tour says these changes would not have a substantive impact on the Race to Dubai as compared to the old system. Rather the changes were designed to create a consistent system which is better for players with lower priority European Tour membership. This is not only meaningful for getting into the final three Rolex Series events of the season, but it's also key in maintaining membership based on finish in the Race to Dubai.