The PGA Championship and the Players Championship, with the strongest fields all season, will both have $10 million purses in 2014 according to PGA of America president Ted Bishop and PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem.
"This is a major purse increase for the PGA Championship," Bishop said about the $2 million bump over 2013. "And you know, I think with today's announcement, we're certainly excited now that the PGA Championship features the highest purse among the four major championships."
"For years and years, The Players Championship has been the No. 1 purse in golf. We like that designation," Finchem said. "So I'm happy to announce that we will be at $10 million, maybe 10 million dollars and one, next spring. And we think that the step that the PGA has taken to increase their purse by 25 percent will be one that will be well received by our membership."
The announcement was made at the McGladrey Classic, where representatives of both governing bodies discussed several topics of mutual interest, particularly growth of the game initiatives.
To further that interest, the PGA Tour committed commercial time during broadcasts on television and radio to PGA of America initiatives like Get Golf Ready.
Finchem said that the organizations had several additional things in common, primarily the staging of professional golf events. However, there are other areas where they might cooperate.
"We are in the process of inviting the PGA of America to provide activities at as many of our tournaments on all of our tours as possible that relate to growing the game," Finchem added. "This could take on any number of directions, but the most likely direction is that it would be in some fashion a replica of what the PGA currently does at the PGA Championship, having their members provide golf lessons and education to the fans at that tournament."
Bishop noted that at the Habitat for Humanity program in Rochester, N.Y., site of last summer's PGA Championship, PGA Tour Wives cooperated with PGA of America member wives to work on a home.
Obviously the biggest crossover events are the PGA of America events—Ryder Cup, PGA Championship and Senior PGA Championship—in which PGA Tour members and Champions Tour members play.
Administratively, one recent topic of cooperation was the issue of the long putter.
"PGA of America was the first to make a public stance on anchoring," Bishop said. "The commissioner and I talked a lot about anchoring and how it might affect the game throughout the comment period, and it was certainly great for the PGA of America when the PGA Tour, you know, eventually took its stance."
The PGA of America and PGA Tour both openly disagreed with upcoming rules changes because of the negative impact on play at courses all over the U.S.
According to Bishop, another example of mutual interest is awarding of Ryder Cup points for the fall events.
"This is unprecedented," Bishop said. "It's the first time that the PGA of America has actually awarded Ryder Cup points for these events that are being played in the Fall Series, or as part of the new wrap‑around season that the PGA Tour has."
"The distribution of Ryder Cup points, we think that there's been a significant enhancement for our fall events this year," Finchem added.
Both organizations plan to discuss additional ways they can cooperate toward common goals at an meeting in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., after Thanksgiving.
Kathy Bissell is a Golf Writer for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained first-hand or from official interview materials from the USGA, PGA Tour or PGA of America.
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