The biggest and best of golfing gather in Dubai this weekend in the 2013 DP World Tour Championship, which effectively ends the European Tour.
And you don't have to be an economist to notice that a lot of money is on the line.
The dog days of the golf season are long over, and competitive action has been brought to a halt in the U.S. But while cold weather is striking America, it's still practically summer in Dubai, and that will produce some memorable and fantastic competition.
The action at Jumeirah Golf Estates that takes place from Thursday to Sunday is sure to shake up the final standings and world rankings for a number of contenders. But it will also hit the pocketbooks in a noticeable manner as well.
Here's a breakdown of the total purse and payout for the 2013 DP World Tour Championship.
|Place||Prize (USD)||Prize (Euro)||Place||Prize (USD)||Prize (Euro)|
Complete Purse: $8,000,000 (€985,476)
*Payout information courtesy of EuropeanTour.com.
Golfers to Watch
It's down to four players for the Race to Dubai title, and the odds-on favorite heading into the weekend is points leader Henrik Stenson.
Playing in his 17th European Tour event this season, the Swede enjoys a noticeable lead over Justin Rose, Graeme McDowell and Ian Poulter in the standings.
Entering the weekend, Stenson struck up an interesting bet with Poulter: Whoever doesn't win the championship has to act as a bartender for the other, per The Guardian's Ewan Murray:
That's probably my biggest motivation, not to become his servant for a day. He is certainly not going off that bet and I know he is up my tail.
The No. 1 focus is to win the Race to Dubai. I guess the second would be to win this tournament and the third would be to make sure Ian Poulter is behind me. We'll have to see if that priority changes at some point but, as of now, that's the way I look at it. I know if I tick the other ones, that will take care of itself.
After winning the FedEx Cup, Stenson is looking for the international sweep by also picking up the Race to Dubai championship. Such a feat would be quite an accomplishment for a golfer who has yet to win a major.
No word on what will happen with the bet if both players fail to win the title.
The No. 6 golfer in the world ended 2012 on a tear, and it seemed like this year would be all his. It hasn't quite been that, as McIlroy has failed to contend for a major.
He could go a long way to end the year on a high note and build confidence if he defends his DP World Tour Championship title from a year ago.
His struggles earlier this summer spurred talk on whether off-the-course distractions were hampering his play. He admitted to that for the first time on Tuesday, per The Telegraph's James Corrigan.
However, McIlroy has a notable fan in Graeme McDowell, who complimented the Northern Ireland native's game as of late, per Murray:
If Rory won this week, I wouldn't be surprised. I obviously played with him in the first round in China and his game looks back to its best. This is a golf course he knows how to get around so I certainly wouldn't be surprised to see him on the leaderboard.
What does this course demand? If you can drive the ball exceedingly well, which has always been a staple of Rory's game, you can really set yourself up to attack these greens which are hidden away from you.
We'll find out if McDowell is right over the weekend.
Although Stenson enters with the points lead and the favorite, Rose sits just one spot behind him in the standings and looks to take it from under him.
Rose has primarily been featured on the PGA Tour, but his extensive play this year in Europe—this will be his 13th Tour event of the year—has earned him honorary member status (per Murray).
The 33-year-old became the first English golfer in 43 years to win the U.S. Open, winning his first major at Merion this year.
Winning the Race to Dubai would be the icing on the cake of his best year as a pro.