Garcia and Schwartzel back Final Series changes

Mon Mar 17, 2014 10:06am EDT
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By Tony Jimenez

LONDON (Reuters) - Sergio Garcia and Charl Schwartzel, two critics of the inaugural Final Series last year, have backed changes made to the U.S. FedExCup-style event that brings the curtain down on the European Tour season.

The bonus pool for the four-tournament Final Series has soared from $3.75 million to $5 million, to be shared by the leading 15 players on the money-list competing at the season-ending DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.

The tour has also decided that members will no longer have to participate in two of the first three tournaments in order to qualify for the Dubai showpiece.

"I'm very happy to see we have reached a middle ground which should help make us all happy," Spaniard Garcia said in a news release on Monday.

South African Schwartzel said: "I will always try to support the European Tour when I can and it's great to see that they are also trying to look after us with these new rules."

Former world number two Garcia, 2011 U.S. Masters champion Schwartzel and four-times major winner Ernie Els complained last year that the regulations were unfair.

The biggest bone of contention for the players was the tour's demand that they must compete in two of the first three Final Series events - the BMW Masters and the WGC-HSBC Champions that are both held in Shanghai and the Turkish Open - to qualify for Dubai.

"It looks like the Final Series is moving in the right direction, to help the guys come and play in as many of the four events as possible," said Schwartzel.   Continued...

Sergio Garcia with his approach shot to the ninth green during the third round of the World Golf Championships - Accenture Match Play Championship at The Golf Club at Dove Mountain. Mandatory Credit: Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports