Europe’s best golfers need little extra incentive to turn out for the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, but the prize money – among the highest on this side of the Atlantic – doesn’t hurt.
The tournament is steeped in tradition, having historically been the flagship event of the European circuit, now branded the DP World Tour and based at the club in leafy Surrey.
Past winners include greats such as Seve Ballesteros, Arnold Palmer, Nick Faldo, Bernhard Langer, Ian Woosnam and Colin Montgomerie.
More recently, Shane Lowry, Rory McIlroy, Tyrrell Hatton and their Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald have won the BMW PGA Championship.
And with that kudos comes cash, with the tournament’s prize money the equal of any event on the European circuit, aside from the majors and season-ending DP World Tour Championship.
It is one of five events in the tour’s Rolex Series which carry bigger purses and offer more ranking points – all designed to attract the best players.
As such the 2023 BMW PGA Championship boasts total prize money of $9m (£7.25m), an increase on last year’s $8m (£6.9m) pot.
This year the winner will take home $1.53m (£1.23m), another bump to the payout secured by Lowry when he pipped McIlroy and Jon Rahm 12 months ago.
How does BMW PGA Championship prize money compare?
Like other Rolex Series events, such as the Scottish Open and Dubai Desert Classic, it is worth two or three times as much as the majority of tournaments on the DP World Tour.
The biggest non-major reward comes at the DP World Tour Championship, which takes place in November, decides who wins the season-long Race to Dubai and has a prize fund of $10m.
The four men’s majors have prize funds ranging from $16.5m (the Open Championship) to $20m (the US Open).
But that is less than some events on the PGA Tour, where recent increases to prize money mean there are now 10 tournaments paying $20m or more on the US circuit.
The most lucrative of these is the Players Championship, dubbed the fifth major because it attracts a stacked field who play for their share of $25m.
LIV Golf has been credited with forcing up prize pots across the game, with the so-called legacy tours forced to dig deeper to keep players from defecting.
All 13 individual events on the LIV Golf circuit have prize funds of $20m, although the 48-man fields mean that the money is divided between fewer players.
The BMW PGA Championship, which concludes on Sunday, could also play a big part in deciding the winner of this year’s Race to Dubai.
As well as elevated prize money, Rolex Series events carry more order of merit points than any event outside the majors and the tour finale in Dubai.