Altvater: Purses hit $10 million mark on PGA Tour for 2014Written by Fred LeFebvre | | email@example.com
It looks like the economic recession is officially over in the United States. Let’s check some key financial indicators: The Dow Jones Average is over 15,750, an all-time high, and median household income is over $51,000.
In other economic news, the PGA Championship and the Players Championship have announced they will offer purses totaling $10 million in fiscal 2014.
It seems the rich are going to get just a bit richer next year.
In an unprecedented move, the PGA of America and the PGA Tour, two organizations that very seldom agree on anything, have agreed to combine efforts and support some joint initiatives. One of which is raising the total purses for their premier golf tournaments.
The Players Championship, which is owned and operated solely by the PGA Tour, is increasing its total purse for 2014 to $10 million. It previously offered the largest purse in golf at $9.5 million.
PGA of America president Ted Bishop announced that the fourth major tournament of the year, the PGA Championship, would match the Players Championship’s $10 million purse next year.
The 2013 Masters Tournament, the U.S. Open and the PGA Championship purses totaled $8 million with $1.44 million going to winners Adam Scott, Justin Rose and Jason Dufner. Phil Mickelson took home $1.443 million and the Claret Jug for his win in the Open Championship last year.
Adam, Justin, Jason and Phil are probably sorry they won last year. The winner’s share of a $10 million purse would be $1.8 million.
You know what they say, a million here and a million there, pretty soon you are talking about real money.
The four World Golf Championship events — WGC-Accenture Match Play, WGC-Cadillac Championship, WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and the WGC-HSBC Champions — have offered more than $8.5 million and have been some of the larger purses on tour in the past.
The addition of the six PGA Tour events in the new 2013-2014 wraparound schedule has added another $7-$8 million to the total amount of prize money available on tour for next year.
Including the six events from the fall of 2013, 28 regular tour events next year, four majors, four WGC events, four FedEx Cup playoff tournaments plus the Players Championship total prize money available on the PGA Tour will add up somewhere north of $300 million. Throw in another $35 million of FedEx Cup bonus-pool-dollars and the total is very close to $340 million.
To make the top 125 and be eligible for the 2013 FedEx Cup playoffs required season earnings of $610,000. Tiger Woods topped the 2013 PGA Tour money list with $8.55 million.
With the six extra events and increased purse sizes in 2014 a player will need to set a goal of $1 million in earnings to gain entry into the FedEx Cup playoffs. The leading money winner (probably Tiger Woods) will need to win more than $10 million.
Back when he was winning most of the majors, Woods won more than $10 million in a season on three different occasions.
The best Europeans have already moved to the U.S. to play for the big bucks on the PGA Tour. With the PGA Tour expanding globally into South America, Canada and now China the best golfers in the world will continue to compete for spots on the big tour.
These guys are good, and they are going to get even better.
Plus just a little bit richer.