European Tour chiefs have unveiled a lucrative new $50m, seven-event series that Rory McIlroy believes will persuade top players to spend more time on this side of the Atlantic.
The Rolex Series – comprising existing events the BMW PGA Championship, the Irish Open, the Scottish Open, the Italian Open, the Turkish Airlines Open, the Nedbank Golf Challenge and culminating at the DP World Tour Championship – is set to replace the current Finals Series next year.
Each event is to boast purses of at least $7m (£5.6m) – the Dubai finale is worth $8m (£6.4m) – with the Tour and Rolex topping up the prize funds by a combined £10m.
World No2 McIlroy, who hosts the Irish Open, expects the revamp to entice leading European players to spend more time playing on their home circuit and less in the United States on the PGA Tour.
“It gives guys an incentive to play a little bit more on this side of the pond leading up to the Open Championship,” said McIlroy.
“It’s getting more and more difficult to play two tours. So I think you might see more guys spending prolonged periods in either [Europe] or [the US], because jumping back and forth, you can do it for so long, but in the long run, it just doesn’t work too well.”
McIlroy, Henrik Stenson, Danny Willett and Alex Noren are all vying to claim the Race To Dubai crown in the European Tour finale this week.