Players, PGA move to top as richest purses on Tour

Jason Dufner poses for photographers with the Wanamaker Trophy after his two-stroke victory at the 95th PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club.

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For years and years, The Players Championship has had the richest purse in golf. In 2014, though, it will have company at the top.

The PGA Championship will increase its purse to $10 million next year, from $8 million in 2013, PGA of America president Ted Bishop announced Wednesday at the PGA Tour’s McGladrey Classic in Sea Island, Ga.

That will make the PGA the biggest payday of the four major championships and tie it at the top overall with The Players. Moments after Bishop announced the increase, Tour commissioner said The Players would jump to $10 million from $9.5 million.

“Or 10 million and 1,” Finchem added, smiling.

All four major championships had $8 million purses in 2013.

The two golf leaders revealed the boosts at a news conference announcing the two organizations’ joint initiatives to grow the game. Finchem called the increased cooperation a “positive movement” for the two groups – which operated under the PGA of America umbrella until touring professionals broke away in 1968 to form the PGA Tour.

The Tour will increase support of the PGA Professional National Championship and some PGA Section events. The PGA has made a change to award Ryder Cup points for fall Tour events.

The Tour will promote PGA teaching and growth programs on the Tour television and radio shows and website. PGA professionals will interact with fans at select Tour events, providing mini-lessons and information about instruction.

“To me we’re just scratching the surface,” Bishop said of the cooperative efforts.

In an unrelated subject, Finchem said fall Tour fields are stronger than expected and thus getting into tournaments has been more difficult than “some of us expected” for players among the 50 Web.com Finals qualifiers.

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