Next weeks Players Cup at Pete Dye Golf Course will award $600,000 in prize money, down from $1 million, following a trend in professional golf this season.
The LPGA Tour has seen events canceled, while last weeks St. Jude Classic on the PGA Tour lowered its purse from $6.1 million to $5.6 million because Stanford Financial pulled out as the title sponsor.
No tournament on the Nationwide Tour had a higher payout than the West Virginia event. The Soboba Classic in San Jacinto, Calif., and the season-ending Nationwide Tour Championship in Charleston, S.C., are the only other tournaments scheduled pay $1 million each in prize money.
We all recognize the economy has had a negative effect on golf sponsorships, and nowhere has it had more impact than the Nationwide Tour Players Cup with its coal industry-related sponsor base, Nationwide Tour president Bill Calfee said in a statement. I am pleased to confirm that this event will be played as scheduled, however, we have been forced to make the difficult decision of reducing the purse.
The Players Cup has had one of the strongest fields on the Nationwide Tour. Last year Rick Price won the event in a playoff to earn his PGA Tour card. He also collected $180,000, which remains tied for the richest paycheck in the tours 20-year history.
Calfee said the tournament, which begins Thursday, will continue to contribute about $125,000 to West Virginia charities.