Dubai - The European Tour has continued its bid to entice golf's biggest names to compete in its events by announcing the biggest first prize in the sport for the season-ending World Tour Championship.
The winner of the 2019 tournament in Dubai will now receive $3 million, after Danny Willett pocketed $1.33 million for his victory last November.
The event is the last of the Tour's 'Rolex Series', with the fields for the final three tournaments of the season all reduced to allow for increases in the winners' prize money.
World No 1 Justin Rose, who won the Turkish Open last year, opted out of playing the World Tour Championship as he was no longer in the running for the season-long Race to Dubai title, which was won by Open champion Francesco Molinari.
The European Tour will be hoping that the new prize structure, with the Turkish Open winner now to earn $2 million (up from $1.16 million) and the Nedbank Golf Challenge champion to take home $2.5 million (up from $1.25 million), will prevent players like Rose and Rory McIlroy from skipping its biggest events.
McIlroy said before last year's World Tour Championship that he was considering not playing enough European Tour competitions in 2019 to keep his Tour card.
"With the revised prize money breakdown and the extra Race to Dubai points in place for 2019, this provides a tremendous incentive for our players," said European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley.
Despite the $3 million prize for the Dubai tournament, it is still dwarfed by the $10 million Rose claimed for winning last year's season-long FedEx Cup on the PGA Tour.