x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Turkish golf's cash boost welcome in times of financial crisis

The money on offer may seem obscene, but the Turkish event's contribution to the future of the European Tour could prove priceless.

The creme de la creme of golf, including Tiger Woods, are playing for a big pot of money.
The creme de la creme of golf, including Tiger Woods, are playing for a big pot of money.

The Turkish Airlines World Golf Final, which concludes tomorrow at the Antalya Golf Club, has met with considerable criticism.

Its detractors have lambasted the eight-man event, effectively an exhibition, for offering a first prize of US$1 million (Dh3.67m) despite some players reportedly having already accepted six-figure fees for simply turning up.

Even its two unluckiest "losers", those in seventh and eighth position, will walk away with a consolatory $300,000.

However, the World Golf Final could help provide the European Tour with an injection of cash, and vigour, in these still fragile financial times. Only last month, the tour lost from its schedule the Andalucia Masters, while the recent success of the FedEx Cup play-offs, on the US PGA Tour, has not only stolen the affections of some of Europe's leading figures, but most of the limelight.

Next year, though, may see the World Golf Final made an official tournament and expanded to a 78-man stroke play event, to be staged the week before the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai - the climax to the European circuit.

Alongside the BMW Masters and WGC-HSBC Champions, it would form part of a season-ending series similar to the FedEx, and could convince the likes of Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood to stay this side of the Atlantic following the 2013 US PGA Championship.

The money on offer may seem obscene, but the Turkish event's contribution to the future of the European Tour could prove priceless.

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