Purses down a bit at Tiger's World Challenge

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THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – The economic downturn of the past few years coupling with soaring purses in professional golf has left many in the game often wondering the following question.

What will happen if purse sizes start to decrease?

Well, it’s already taking place – at least in one unofficial yet high-profile PGA Tour-sanctioned event. This week’s World Challenge will have a total purse of $4 million, down 20 percent from last year’s overall number of $5 million. Those numbers remain fairly steady across the board; first place is down from $1.2 million to an even $1 million, while last place in the 18-player field drops from $140,000 to $120,000.

The tournament no longer has Chevron as a title sponsor, instead teaming with Northwestern Mutual as a presenting sponsor for the first time.

Of course, the money still beats that other tournament going on this week. The winner of the 172-player final stage of Q-School will earn $50,000 – or $70,000 less than any competitor will receive simply for showing up at Sherwood Country Club.