DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP)—Two-time British Open champion Greg Norman believes the current generation of touring pros will be playing for less prizemoney in the future.
The 54-year-old Australian was speaking Wednesday before the start of theDubai World Championship. The tournament opens Thursday on the Earth Course,which Norman designed for the event that marks the end of the European Tour’sseason.
“Golf is not going to be like it used to be. It’s tough out there—toughin business,” Norman said. “I hate the players to look recession proof, butthe players have to be aware.
“I have gone through the cycle of things being really good and then goingthrough another cycle. But I don’t think the young generation see it becausethey have never seen it before. I have been through three recessions.”
The season-ending Dubai tournament originally had a $10 million prize fund,but that was reduced to $7.5 million in September because of the global economicdownturn.
Norman said the situation could be mirrored elsewhere on the American andEuropean PGA Tours.
“We golfers have got to step up to the plate and be alert to it,” Normansaid. “We have all had to tighten our belts and I think it would be veryresponsible of the players to be cognizant of that.”
English golfer Lee Westwood , who has won about $3 million this year, saidthe prize in Dubai—the winner will get $1.25 million—is still a lot.
“We should not complain about the cut in the prize fund here because we arestill competing for an awful lot of money and we are aware that some of golfsponsors are struggling at the moment,” Westwood said.