DUBAI // Leisurecorp, a subsidiary of Dubai World, confirmed last night they will honour their promise and provide the European Tour with the US$15 million (Dh56m) prize purse they had previously pledged in return for sponsorship of their order of merit. The investment arm of the emirate's government last year reduced their offering from $20m to $15m in light of the global economic situation and the European Tour announced yesterday the arrangement will continue unchanged for the 2010 season. The season-ending Dubai World Championship will provide a prize pot of $7.5m when it is held from November 25-28, while the year-long Race to Dubai will offer a further $7.5m.
Parent company Dubai World has come under scrutiny in recent weeks after requesting a six-month delay on loan repayments, but a spokesperson for Leisurecorp said yesterday's confirmation highlights the company's commitment to the European Tour as well as strengthening the profile of the emirate. "We are delighted with how the inaugural Dubai World Championship went and are looking forward to continuing our partnership with the European Tour," he said.
"We don't want to focus too much on the money as that is not the be-all and end-all for us. The importance of our partnership is about raising the profile of Dubai and there will be at least 47 tournaments around the world next year where Dubai will remain at the forefront." Lee Westwood won the Dubai World Championship and the Race to Dubai at Jumeirah Golf Estates' Earth course last month, taking home a cheque of around $2.75m. The chase for the crown will begin on Thursday when the second Race to Dubai gets under way with the Alfred Dunhill Championship in South Africa.