A new points system has been introduced for the European Tour’s 2019 Race to Dubai, which begins this week with the Honma Hong Kong Open presented by Amundi.
In recent years, the differential (or variance) in prize funds at tournaments has widened substantially and no longer provided a fair barometer of performance at certain levels. The Players Tournament Committee has approved a new points system which will establish more consistency during the 2019 season.
Here is a summary of the changes:
Points were equivalent to earnings (in USD); $1 = 1 point. This created a significant disparity of 12:1 between the bigger events, such as the $12 million U.S. Open, and the smaller events.
A further inconsistency developed at tournaments with similar prize funds, but different prize breakdowns. For example, in 2018 the WGC-Bridgestone ($10 million) and The Open ($10.25 million) had dramatically different breakdowns:
- 50th at the WGC-Bridgestone = $55,000 and 55,000 Race to Dubai points
- 50th at The Open = $37,000 and 37,000 Race to Dubai points.
Each tournament will be classified into one of nine categories called bands. Each band is determined by prize fund and prestige as follows:
1. $1 million- $1.749 million = 2000 points available
2. $1.75 million- $2.499 million = 2750 points available
3. $2.5 million - $3.249 million = 3500 points available
4. $3.25 million - $3.99 million = 4,250 points available
5. $4 million - $4.99 million = 5,000 points available
6. $5 million - $5.499 million = 5,500 points available
7. Rolex Series events = 7000, 7500 or 8000 points available (based on prize fund)
8. World Golf Championships (WGC) = 9000 points available
9. Major Championships = 10,000 points available
Also now, point allocation will follow one universal breakdown, awarding a standardised percentage of the points available to each position on the leaderboard. For example:
- 50th at every 2019 Race to Dubai event is worth the same 0.48 per cent of available points, therefore:
- Band 1 = 9.6 points
- Band 2 = 13.2 points
- Band 3 = 16.8 points
- Band 4 = 20.4 points
- Band 5 = 24 points
- Band 6 = 26.4 points
- Rolex Series events = 33.6 points – 38.4 points (based on prize fund)
- World Golf Championships (WGC) = 43.2 points
- Major Championships = 48 points
These changes would not have a material impact on the Race to Dubai leaders, nor are they intended to. However, they do create a more consistent, performance-based system for European Tour Members who have a lower category on the exemption list.
As a result of these changes, the differential between the largest and the smallest events has been significantly reduced from 12:1 to 5:1 – thereby providing Members who do not get into the bigger prize money events a fairer opportunity to keep their card, while maintaining the traditional and important hierarchy of professional tournaments.