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Inaugural CJ Cup kicks off with 'phenomenal' purse

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The PGA Tour is holding a regular tournament in South Korea for the first time, and they're offering plenty of incentive for the players who make the trip.

This week's CJ Cup at Nine Bridges is the tournament's first installment, and it marks the Tour's first trip to South Korea since the 2015 Presidents Cup. The inaugural field includes headliners like FedExCup champ Justin Thomas as well as former world No. 1s Jason Day and Adam Scott.

The tournament features a 78-man field with no cut, the same format as last week's CIMB Classic in Malaysia. Both tournaments allotted 60 of the 78 spots based on the final FedExCup standings last season. But where this week's event separates itself is in prizing: a $9.25 million purse compared to $7 million last week.

In fact, the winner on Jeju Island will receive $1.665 million. That's more than the top prize at any of the WGC or playoff events last season and behind only the four majors and Players Championship among golf's richest paydays in 2017.

"This is obviously an amazing event with a phenomenal purse and a great field," said Graeme McDowell, who received one of eight sponsor invites into the event.

This week's runner-up will receive $999,000 - barely behind the $1.16 million Brendan Steele received from a $6.2 million purse for winning the Safeway Open earlier this month. A solo 10th-place finish gets $249,750, while players will receive at least $100,000 up to 22nd place. Last place among the 78-man field will earn $17,020.