Players Championship 2017 prize money: Is the "fifth major" still golf's richest tournament?

 
Joe Hall
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THE PLAYERS Championship - Final Round
Jason Day won $1.9m for winning last year's Championship (Source: Getty)

For its first 42 years of existence, the Players Championship earned its status as golf's unofficial "fifth Major" by being the richest tournament in the sport.

This year, however, the tournament has lost a little of its lucrative lustre.

The tournament, which begins this morning at its Florida home of 36 years, has been downgraded to golf's third richest event in 2017 after both the US Open and Masters increased their kitty to record levels.

Read more: Sam Torrance - Dustin Johnson is back with a bang for golf's fifth Major

A winner's pay cheque of $1.9m is on offer in Florida — the same prize awarded to last year's winner Jason Day.

Tournament organisers the PGA Tour have opted not to increase their $10.5m prize fund this year, in contrast to the US Open and the Masters which upped their total offering to $12m and $11m respectively.

That meant Masters winner Sergio Garcia took home a $1.98m prize while the winner of the US Open next month will earn $2.2m

Read more: Danny Willett thanked his analytics team following his Masters triumph - but what are the key stats used in golf?

Yet the Players Championship will still be fiercely competed by the top 50 ranked golfers in the world.

Not only is the iconic TPC at Sawgrass course one of the most prestigious in the world, elevating any conqueror into a rarefied collection of golfers, but the rewards for winning it also include a five-year exemption on the PGA Tour, three-years guaranteed entry into the US Open and Open and a pass into the US PGA Championship.

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