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Money Doesn’t Always Talk On Tour

For once, the tired old saying, “It’s not about the money,” may be accurate.
Usually when someone says it’s not about the money, that’s exactly what it’s about.
However, in the case of so-called “regular” PGA Tour events, it evidently is not about the money.
The richest domestic Tour events are the major championships, the Players Championship, the World Golf Championships and the FedEx Cup playoff events. They get the best fields and understandably so.
The three richest PGA Tour events outside of those special tournaments are the Wells Fargo Championship ($6.9 million purse), the Zurich Classic of New Orleans ($6.8 million) and the HP Byron Nelson Championship ($6.9 million).
So what kind of fields did those big-money events attract this year?
New Orleans drew nine of the top 50 players in the world golf ranking. Wells Fargo drew 20 of the top 50. The Nelson drew 14 of the top 50.
Some of it is due to timing on the schedule. Each of those events falls between The Masters and the U.S. Open, Wells Fargo choosing to be played the week before the Players Championship.
Some of it is due to the courses being played, each player having his favorites and those he doesn’t care for. And some of it due to ambassador teams contracted by sponsors who point various players toward events with their names on them.
Appearance fees aren’t allowed on the PGA Tour but there’s no rule against a company signing endorsement deals with players, who are then more than likely to play events with sponsor tie-ins.


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