VIRGINIA WATER, England — The number of Rolex Series events on the European Tour has been reduced from eight to four for the 2021 season, with each having a prize fund of at least $8 million.
The changes were announced Tuesday as the tour revealed its schedule for next season, which contains a minimum of 42 tournaments in 24 countries between January and November.
The Abu Dhabi Championship, the Scottish Open and the BMW PGA Championship have been retained in the shortened Rolex Series and each has a total prize pot of $8 million. The fourth marquee event is the season-ending World Tour Championship in Dubai, which will be for $9 million and have 12,000 Race to Dubai points on offer.
The schedule has been designed to reduce travel where possible, explaining why there are four events in Britain in a so-called “U.K. Swing” across July and August. There are new tournaments in Tenerife and Gran Canaria in April before the Portugal Masters.
Eighteen events that were either canceled or postponed in the 2020 season because of the coronavirus outbreak return.
“There is no question that the challenge of reshaping our 2020 season in many ways informed our approach to 2021,” said Keith Pelley, chief executive of the European Tour.
“One of the key learnings was to group events together in terms of their geographical location to create a more travel-friendly season for our members. That is reflected in numerous concentrations of event locations.”