The Players to increase purse to record $20 million for 2022

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – One of the richest purses in golf is growing.

The Players Championship is increasing the total purse from $15 million to $20 million for the 2022 tournament.

The winner of the event will take home $3.6 million. Only the season-ending Tour Championship where the FedEx Cup champion is crowned has a bigger purse ($46 million) and winners share ($15 million).

The increase to the payout for The Players doesn’t change the rank of the event, but it makes a statement about the way the Tour views its own tournament.

“When you think of what makes up the Players Championship, the strongest field in golf, the purest test in this golf course (The Players Stadium Course). And the fans experience that we’ve built, it’s the hardest golf tournament to win,” said Jared Rice, the executive director of The Players. By putting this investment forward, allows us to attract the best players in the world so we all benefit from that.”

The Players also benefits from a world class volunteer structure that has been refined over the years since the tournament began playing in Ponte Vedra at Sawgrass Country Club in 1977.

With the “Great Resignation” underway in the United States, there may be more potential volunteers available as some near retirement age decided to stop working fulltime during the pandemic and others opted to work season or part-time jobs instead of remaining with fulltime employment.

“there’s a number of volunteers that are doing this for a long time and continue to come back and again that’s so important to us and build that foundation of able to deliver the best event on golf,” Rice said. “we’re seeing it from referrals, people that are really coming new to town. Since you know since 2020 are looking to get involved in, you know, getting local community coming out and volunteering puts them in position to be able to give back.”

Like all public events, The Players has been forced to pivot in their operations during the pandemic. It started when the tournament became one of the first sporting events in America impacted by COVID-19 concerns. In 2020, the tournament was canceled after the first round because of the spread of the coronavirus.

Those challenges forced The Players’ staff to look at ways to put on the event in 2021 while remaining as safe as possible. Some of those lessons have become a part of the tournament’s standard operating procedure.

“We learned during COVID That contactless and digital experiences are the norm, they were trending that way before but really leaned into that you’ll see more of that from your point of entry and parking to ticketing, the return of Uber and rideshare that is normalized tremendously so getting on properties a little easier,” Rice said.

Some of the physical structures fans will see on the course are growing as well.

“Our merchandise facility is growing 30 percent,” Rice said. “We’ve returned to local restaurants featuring the top culinary facilities here in Northeast Florida to provide a taste in Jacksonville.”

The past year and a half have been a study in pivoting on the fly for The Players Championship staff. In 2021, Rice hopes they’ll be able to plan and implement without having to make changes in a matter of hours that they’ve had to recently.

“We love putting on this event for our players and for our community,” Rice said. “Knowing what has gone into the unfortunate events in 2020, how we had to adjust in 2021, the amount of work and creativity that the team is put forth is absolutely incredible. And they’re very, very proud of living here and this being the flagship event of the tour so excited to be able to go back to what we do best and have great groups of crowds out here cheering on our fans and our players.”

About the Author:

Cole joined News4Jax full-time in January 2017, but he has been a part of the team since he began filling in as a sports anchor in 2005.