The purse for the PGA Championship was increased by 25 percent to $10 million, equaling the Players Championship for golf’s biggest prize pool.
The event, the last of the sport’s four annual major tournaments, had an $8 million purse this year, with Jason Dufner receiving $1.45 million for his victory at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, New York.
The 2014 PGA will be held at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky, from Aug. 7-10, with the winner’s share at $1.8 million.
“It’s a fantastic thing for the players,” Paul Goydos, who spent the past three seasons on the U.S. PGA Tour’s Player Advisory Council, said in an interview in Sea Island, Georgia, the site of this week’s McGladrey Classic. “It’s a sign that maybe the economy is getting a little bit healthier and maybe sponsors are being a little more active.”
The Masters Tournament, U.S. Open and British Open all had $8 million prize purses in 2013.
Carl Pettersson said he doesn’t believe bumping up the prize money for the PGA Championship is an attempt to boost its stature among the majors.
“I think it’s one of the best majors we play all year because the course set-up is the fairest,” Pettersson said. “Sometimes they get a bad reputation for being, I don’t know, the least established major to win, but their background goes back to golf -- they’re trying to grow the game and they know what they’re doing.”
The PGA Tour also increased the Players Championship purse by $500,000 to $10 million.
PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem said the tour likes having the Players Championship as the biggest purse and joked that it might increase that tournament’s prize money to $10 million “and 1.” This year’s Players will be held May 9-12 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.
The PGA Tour, which runs the world’s richest golf circuit, and the PGA of America, the largest professional golf organization in the world with 27,000 club and teaching pros, also said today they are expanding cooperative initiatives designed to increase the sport’s growth. This includes a program that highlights the teaching role of PGA of America professionals.
Those professionals will meet with fans at several tournaments in 2014, including the Players, the three U.S.-based World Golf Championships, The Barclays, the Tour Championship and Northern Trust Open, and will provide mini- lessons and distribute information about golf instruction.
“We have always believed that working together with The PGA of America enhances efforts to grow the game and benefits the membership of both organizations,” Finchem said.