• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

European Tour aim to please with rule tweaks

The European Tour has announced a number of changes to its Final Series after officials were chastened by criticism of the inaugural format last year.

Ernie Els, the former Open champion, was one prominent player to be irked by the regulation which required him to compete in two of the first three events to be eligible for the season-ending DP World Tour Championship.

The South African did not fulfil that criteria - neither did Sergio Garcia nor Charl Schwartzel - and was therefore ineligible to play in Dubai in November. George O'Grady, the chief executive of the European Tour, subsequently promised to conduct a review of the regulations.

That review has led predictably to the playing requirement being scrapped, while the bonus pool has been increased from $3.75m to $5m and will be shared among the top-15 players after the DP World Tour Championship rather than the top 10.

The field for that event has also been changed to feature the leading 60 available players from the Race to Dubai after the preceding Turkish Airlines Open, rather than only those finishing inside the top 60. With Els, Garcia, Schwartzel and the injured Alex Noren absent from the event, only 56 players competed last year.

The Tour has also introduced an enhanced points system for 2014. At the end of the Perth International - the final regular event of the season - prize money on the Race to Dubai will be converted into points, with €1 equalling one point. Each Final Series event will carry a total of 10 million points and the winner will receive 1,666,600.

"The new regulations and the new points system are a good move," said Thomas Bjorn, chairman of the European Tour. "It means if you miss some of those events it will be difficult to win the Race to Dubai, so there is an incentive to play in as many Final Series events as possible. The goal for us was to get the top players to play in the Final Series."

The entry criteria for the WGC-HSBC Champions event has also been altered, with the number of places available for winners of European Tour events reduced from 20 to 10 and those from the Race to Dubai increased from five to 15.

"The inaugural staging of the Final Series was a huge success with the best golfer at the end of last year - Henrik Stenson - eagling the final hole at Jumeirah Golf Estates to win not only the DP World Tour Championship but also The Race to Dubai," said Keith Waters, chief operating officer and director of international policy for the European Tour.

"However, we were aware that there was some fine tuning required to the overall structure of the Final Series to make an already excellent product even better. We are confident that the changes will do just that."

Contextual targeting label: 
Arts and Entertainment

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

220182