The Players Championship’s unofficial status as golf’s fifth Major will be further enhanced this weekend at TPC Sawgrass where a record prize will be paid out to the winner.
Once the richest tournament in golf despite not being one of the four Majors, the Players Championship’s financial offering has fallen behind the US Open in recent years but still remains one of the most lucrative events in the sport.
This year organisers the PGA Tour has increased its prize pot by $500,000 to a tournament-record $11m, meaning the winner will take home its largest prize to date of $1.98m.
That marks a 4.8 per cent jump on the $1.89m won by reigning champion Kim Si-Woo last year.
With this year’s runner-up set to earn $1.19m and the third-place player $748,0000, all of the top 10 finishers on Sunday stand to earn over $275,000.
The Players Championship lost the long-held lustre of being the richest tournament in golf last year after the PGA Tour opted not to increase their prize fund from its 2016 level of $10.5m, while both the US Open and Masters increased their treasure chests to $12m and $11m respectively.
In 2000 it became the first tournament in golf to pay its winner a seven-figure prize, beating all four Majors to the milestone.
This year’s top up means the Players Championship draws level with the Masters, which paid out $1.98m to this year’s champion Patrick Reed, but remains behind the US Open which made its 2017 champion Brooks Koepka the recipient of golf’s largest pay cheque worth $2.2m.