HOUSTON – News of the European circuit’s transformation to the DP World Tour along with a much-needed cash infusion was eagerly embraced by those who play professionally on both sides of the Atlantic.
“I think it’s great for the European players. The prize money is going to increase which is a huge positive,” said Shane Lowry at this week’s Hewlett Packard Enterprise Houston Open. “The European Tour, coming out of COVID there were a lot of events that weren’t up to the standard of where the tour was. It’s nice to see at least $2 million prize funds.”
Along with the name change, the partnership with DP World, a Dubai-based logistics company, will allow the European circuit to nearly double its total prize fund and increase the minimum purse to $2 million starting next year.
Full-field tee times from the Hewlett Packard Enterprise Houston Open
The move also allows the circuit to better identify with an increasingly international schedule. Of the 47 events on the 2022 European schedule, 23 will be played outside of the Continent.
“It’s been a worldwide tour for many, many years,” Henrik Stenson said. “It’s good news for the brand. I think it is a natural progression because we’ve played so many tournaments across the globe for decades.”
The news was particularly encouraging for members of both tours who have watched the European side struggle throughout the pandemic.
“The European Tour has had a tough couple of years because of COVID, it’s been very difficult for players and sponsors and events to be played around the world, so I’m happy for the entire team,” Graeme McDowell said.
Tuesday’s announcement dovetails with last year’s news that the European and PGA tours had started a strategic alliance that will include three co-sanctioned events, including the Scottish Open, starting in 2022.
“It’s been a really interesting two years for golf with COVID, international competition with the Saudi golf movement, competition is good for the sport,” McDowell said. “It makes everyone get better. It’s making the PGA Tour get better and now you see it with the European Tour trying to grow and get better and better. It’s great for the players and great for the viewers at home.”