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Korn Ferry Tour announces major prize money increases by 2022

The Korn Ferry Tour, the developmental competition for golfers aiming to crack the PGA Tour, announced Tuesday that tournaments would see a significant purse increase over the next two seasons. The gains were initially scheduled for the 2021 season after the tour’s policy board approved the raise in March 2020. But they have been delayed a year to account for the expenses the coronavirus pandemic has accrued, such as testing and health and safety adjustments. The Korn Ferry Tour’s regular-season purses will jump 66.7% from 2021 to 2023. There will be a rise of $150,000 in 2022, making the minimum purse value for tournaments $750,000. The minimum purse value will increase to $1 million in 2023. That would offer first-place winners at least $180,000 in prize money for winning a tournament in 2023.

The Korn Ferry Tour allows golfers to enter the PGA Tour with solid results. The developmental tour offers 50 PGA Tour cards — allowing those golfers to enter PGA Tour events without a special invitation from tournaments. The top 25 golfers earn PGA Tour cards at the end of the regular season, and 25 more are available through the three-tournament Korn Ferry Tour Finals. “The Korn Ferry Tour continues to play a massive role in delivering a pipeline of future stars to the PGA TOUR consistently,” Korn Ferry Tour President Alex Baldwin said in a release. “Today’s announcement is another step in ensuring the Tour will continue to attract the best young talent while providing higher-quality playing opportunities for the entire membership.”

Korn Ferry

The increase in purse size is welcome, but it still pales compared to the PGA Tour. PThe average purse size for PGA Tour events in 2019 was just shy of $7.5 million. Urse measures generally are constructed through television network deals for broadcasting tournaments, and tournament sponsors, advertising, and ticket sales help make up the rest of the purse. Therefore, the Korn Ferry Tour’s reach is smaller than the internationally viewed PGA Tour events that draw crowds of fans in non-pandemic times. “[The purse increase] shows the TOUR’s commitment to the Korn Ferry Tour,” Korn Ferry Tour Player Advisory Council chairman Scott Langley said in a release. “The game has always been a meritocracy, but it’s nice to see that that good play will be rewarded a little bit more throughout a season.” For the Korn Ferry Tour, the final regular-season event will see a purse increase from $750,000 to $850,000 in 2022, and then it will jump to $1.25 million in 2023. The three Korn Ferry Tour Finals tournaments will have a purse of $1.5 million in 2023.

The Korn Ferry Tour hopes the purse increases the developmental tour’s stature. However, a ticket to the PGA Tour is still the primary goal. Over 75% of the PGA Tour’s current membership comprises Korn Ferry Tour alums. “The numbers speak for themselves,” Langley said. “I don’t think you can change the fact that the Korn Ferry Tour will always be looked at as the pathway and not as the destination, but I certainly think these purse increases will elevate how everyone looks at the Korn Ferry Tour, not just in professional golf in our country, but around the world.”

Molly Aronson

I'm an award-winning blogger who enjoys all things creative but is especially passionate about lifestyle design. I blog over at mehlogy.com I love that I get to share my passion for healthy living, fashion, fitness, and travel with readers from all over the world.

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