Golf

Norman predicts prize cuts

2009-11-18 15:44
Greg Norman (AFP)
Dubai - Two-time British Open champion Greg Norman believes the current generation of touring pros will be playing for less prize money in the future.

The 54-year-old Australian was speaking Wednesday before the start of the Dubai World Championship.

The tournament opens Thursday on the Earth Course, which Norman designed for the event that marks the end of the European Tour's season.

"Golf is not going to be like it used to be. It's tough out there - tough in business," Norman said. "I hate the players to look recession proof, but the players have to be aware.

"I have gone through the cycle of things being really good and then going through another cycle. But I don't think the young generation see it because they have never seen it before. I have been through three recessions."

The season-ending Dubai tournament originally had a $10m prize fund, but that was reduced to $7.5m in September because of the global economic downturn.

Norman said the situation could be mirrored elsewhere on the American and European PGA Tours.

"We golfers have got to step up to the plate and be alert to it," Norman said. "We have all had to tighten our belts and I think it would be very responsible of the players to be aware of that."

English golfer Lee Westwood, who has won about $3m this year, said the prize in Dubai - the winner will get $1.25 million - is still a lot.

"We should not complain about the cut in the prize fund here because we are still competing for an awful lot of money and we are aware that some of golf sponsors are struggling at the moment," Westwood said.

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