Memorial secures sponsor extension, purse increase

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Nationwide has extended its presenting sponsorship of the Memorial Tournament through 2021, an announcement that brought with it a significant increase to the prize purse for next year's event.

Nationwide has been the presenting sponsor of the event at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, since 2011. Heading into its 41st year, the tournament is annually hosted by local resident and course architect, Jack Nicklaus.

"When we created the Memorial Tournament, in many ways it was a gift to the people of central Ohio and to the community that helped shape me as a player, but, more important, as a person,” Nicklaus said. "It was also about leaving a legacy. Simply put, as we walk through life, the footprint we leave behind is what determines your legacy.”

Along with the Arnold Palmer Invitational, the Memorial distinguishes itself from other PGA Tour events by offering a three-year exemption to its champion. Winners of most Tour events receive a two-year exemption, while WGC champions get a three-year exemption and major winners receive a five-year exemption.

Additionally, the overall purse will increase nearly 40 percent next year, from $6.2 million to $8.5 million. While David Lingmerth earned $1.116 million for his playoff victory over Justin Rose this year, the 2016 champion will receive $1.615 million.

"The Memorial Tournament has long been one of the premier events on the PGA Tour schedule, and it is appropriate to honor all that Jack Nicklaus has done for the game, on and off the golf course, by making these changes to elevate the tournament’s status even more,” said Jay Monahan, the Tour's deputy commissioner.

The Memorial Tournament will be held June 2-5.