DP World Tour announces record purse for 2023 season, introduces new earnings assurance program

November 03, 2022

Rory McIlroy talks with Keith Pelley, CEO of the DP World Tour, during the pro-am prior to the Italian Open in September at Marco Simone Golf Club.

Stuart Franklin

DP World Tour players will compete for a record level of prize money in the 2023 season. Outside of the four major championships and the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, the former European Tour will offer $144.2 million over a schedule that will feature a minimum of 39 tournaments in 26 countries. That figure includes a $6 million bonus pool for the leading eight players on the tour rankings at the end of the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.

Perhaps most strikingly, the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, Dubai Desert Classic, Genesis Scottish Open and BMW PGA Championship all move from $8 million to $9 million next year, ahead of the $10 million season-ending DP World Tour Championship. In addition, four new tournaments in Asia are also included on the 2023 schedule, with the Singapore Classic (Feb. 9-12) and Thailand Classic (Feb. 16-19) taking place in consecutive weeks, followed by the tour’s first trip to Japan for the ISPS Handa Championship in April and a return to Korea for the first time since 2013.

There is, however, one more caveat to that record-breaking figure of $144.2 million. Next season will also see the introduction of a new Earnings Assurance Program similar to the Player Impact Program operating on the PGA Tour. Exempt players in categories 1-17 will be guaranteed minimum earnings of $150,000 if they compete in 15 or more events as part of the program, which was agreed to by the DP World Tour’s Tournament Committee last week.

In addition, at the end of the season, the program will fund any gap between actual earnings and the $150,000 minimum. Rookies, Challenge Tour graduates and Qualifying School graduates can take up to $20,000 right away to fund early-season travel. Members in categories 18-20 will not be eligible, but they will be eligible for a $1,500 pay-out if they miss the cut in an event, to assist with travel costs and other tournament-related expenses.

According to the tour’s announcement, the new program has been made possible by “DP World Tour’s operational joint venture partnership with the PGA Tour which was announced in June.”

“For us to be able to offer our members record prize funds and enhanced earning opportunities is massive, particularly when global economies are still feeling the effects of the pandemic and with the new challenge of rising inflation significantly putting pressure on costs in all facets of our business,” said DP World Tour chief executive Keith Pelley. “Our overall prize fund for the 2023 season represents $50 million more than 2021 and also underlines the strength of our partnership with the PGA Tour, who are working with us to drive revenue and a long-term growth plan.”

There was also some justification for the Earnings Assurance Program, which will surely draw criticism from those concerned over a loss of purity in what is supposed to be a competitive sport.

“I have always believed that it is an incredible accomplishment for any professional golfer to simply gain their playing rights on the DP World Tour and this new initiative recognizes and rewards that achievement,” continued Pelley. “Although we will never lose the magic of the meritocracy of a performance-based structure, this now offers certainty of income to those players who have made it to the pinnacle of the professional game in Europe. It will provide security and a strong platform for emerging players in particular as they come through the global pathways we have created.”

The new DP World Tour season officially begins later this month with two events both being held Nov. 24-27—the Australian PGA Championship in Brisbane and the Joburg Open in South Africa.