Is it a reaction to recent controversy of a PGA Tour ‘Player Impact Program’ that the Tour has announced from the start of the 2023 each secondary Korn Ferry Tour event will be boasting at least $1m in prize-money?
The Tour’s statement said the increase had been approved by the Policy Board in March of 2020 but was delayed a year due to expenses caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, including testing and health and safety implementation.
However, the announcement comes on the day a mandatory meeting of all main Tour players was called for late Tuesday afternoon (US time) at this week’s Wells Fargo Championship.
And all pre-meeting talk of the calling of the meeting seemed to surround the Tour’s plans to introduce the Players Impact Program, with many critical of PIP by stating the money should instead be channelled into areas such as boosting prize-money on the Korn Ferry Tour.
“The Korn Ferry Tour continues to play a massive role in delivering a pipeline of future stars to the PGA Tour on a consistent basis,” said Korn Ferry Tour President Alex Baldwin.
“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.”
The increases come across the board over the 2022 and 2023 seasons, with set minimums for regular season events, the regular season finale, and the three-event Korn Ferry Tour Finals.
Korn Ferry Tour regular season purses will increase by 66.7 percent from 2021 to 2023, rising by $150,000 to a minimum of $750,000 in 2022 before hitting the $1 million minimum in 2023.
“It shows the Tour’s commitment to the Korn Ferry Tour,” said Korn Ferry Tour Player Advisory Council chairman Scott Langley. “The game has always been a meritocracy, but it’s nice to see that that good play will be rewarded a little bit more over the course of a season.”
The Korn Ferry Tour regular season finale, where 25 PGA Tour cards are awarded annually, will also rise in stature. In 2021 the Pinnacle Bank Championship presented by Aetna will take place at The Club at Indian Creek in Omaha, Nebraska with a purse of $750,000. Going forward this will also increase by 66.7 percent from 2021 to 2023, with a minimum $850,000 in 2022 before hitting $1.25 million in 2023.
The three-event Korn Ferry Tour Finals, which in 2021 includes the Albertsons Boise Open (Boise, Idaho), the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship (Columbus, Ohio) and the Korn Ferry Tour Championship presented by United Leasing & Finance (Newburgh, Indiana), currently have purses of $1 million. In 2023, the purse for all three Korn Ferry Tour Finals events, where another 25 PGA Tour cards are awarded at the conclusion of the third event, will move to $1.5 million.
When founded in 1990 as the Ben Hogan Tour (1990-92), the Korn Ferry Tour featured a total purse of $3 million across 30 total events, averaging $100,000 per tournament.
“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.”
The Korn Ferry Tour’s mission is to identify and develop golf’s next stars, preparing them to compete and win on the game’s biggest stage. Since 2013, the Korn Ferry Tour has provided 50 PGA Tour cards annually.
Each season, the top 25 players secure PGA Tour cards via the Korn Ferry Tour’s regular season and an additional 25 players secure promotion through the Korn Ferry Tour Finals. With more than 550 PGA Tour titles and 24 major championships, Korn Ferry Tour alumni make up over 75 percent of the PGA Tour’s current membership.
Overview of Korn Ferry Tour Purse Increases for 2022, 2023:
All Figures in USD (United States Dollars)
|Min. for Korn Ferry Tour Regular Season Events||$600,000||$750,000||$1,000,000|
|Korn Ferry Tour Regular Season Finale (one event)||$750,000||$850,000||$1,250,000|
|Korn Ferry Tour Finals (three events)||$1,000,000||$1,000,000||$1,500,000|