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Shane Lowry and Graeme McDowell excited by European Tour rebrand


Shane Lowry. Image credit: Sportsfile.

Shane Lowry. Image credit: Sportsfile.

Shane Lowry. Image credit: Sportsfile.

Irish stars Shane Lowry and Graeme McDowell are massively excited about the European Tour's new rebranding as the DP World Tour.

The Irish pair ply their trade on both sides of the Atlantic and while they make their living mainly on the PGA TOUR, they believe the massive injection of cash from DP World is huge for Europe and for golf worldwide.

"To be honest I only read a little bit about it I didn't know much about it," Lowry said ahead of this week's Hewlett Packard Enterprise Houston Open where he is joined by McDowell and Seamus Power.

"But obviously I saw the emails from Keith Pelley this morning. I think it's great for the European tour players because obviously the prize funds are going to be increased which is huge for the players with the title sponsor DP World.

"It's huge for the tour. Coming out of COVID there's been a lot of events that have not been up to the standard that the tour should be at.

“It's nice to see prize funds of at least $2 million. I am delighted for everybody who plays the tour full time.

“I am obviously very fortunate that I play on the PGA TOUR as well. I can come and play great events, week in week out, whereas guys out there in Europe are trying to grind out a living.

"I am happy for the caddies as well. The caddies I am sure are out there are struggling to try and make ends meet as well.

"It's a tough life. People see the glamorous side of things at the top of world golf and everything that comes with that, but when you look at the guys out there playing for their card in the final event of the regular season in Europe this week, it's a tough slog out there.

"So it's great news for everyone in Europe to be a part of the DP World tour now. I am excited for what the future holds."

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The immediate impact of the DP World deal is that circuit's total prize money will top $200m for the first time in 2022.

Outside the Majors and World Golf Championships, overall prize funds will be more than US$140 million for all tournaments, outstripping the previous all-time pre-pandemic high of US$130 million in 2019.

Including the Majors and WGCs, the total prize fund on the 2022 DP World Tour will exceed US$200 million, benefitting "all tournaments and all members across all categories" with Challenge Tour prize funds to climb significantly.

Events solely sanctioned by the DP World Tour will have a minimum prize fund of US$2 million with 13 events worth in excess of $2 million.

The season-ending DP World Tour Championship will have the biggest prize fund in the tour's history in 2022, increasing from US$9m to US$10 million to become the first eight-figure purse in the tour's 49-year history.

McDowell reckons the move is great for world golf at a time when the threat of the breakaway, Saudi-back world tour is forcing the traditional powerhouses of the US and European tours to think outside the box.

"The European Tour has had a tough couple of years because of COVID, it's been very difficult for players and sponsors and events to be played around the world, so I'm happy for the entire team," McDowell told Golf Channel.

"It's been a really interesting two years for golf with COVID, international competition with the Saudi golf movement, competition is good for the sport.

"It makes everyone get better. It's making the PGA Tour get better and now you see it with the European Tour trying to grow and get better and better. It's great for the players and great for the viewers at home."

Henrik Stenson added: "It's been a worldwide tour for many, many years.

"It's good news for the brand. I think it is a natural progression because we've played so many tournaments across the globe for decades."