Tiger's US PGA event gets status boost to invitational

Los Angeles (AFP) –


Tiger Woods's US PGA tournament will have a higher purse and greater prestige as well as invitational status and a new name for next year, organizers announced on Monday.

The Genesis Invitational, hosted by Woods at Riviera Country Club next February 13-16, will have an invite-only field of 120 players competing for a $9.3 million purse, a boost of $1.9 million from this year's event.

The winner will take home $1.674 million as well as a three-year PGA TOUR exemption, one year longer than the standard winner's exemption for tour events.

Tiger's event exemption matches those of the Memorial, a key US Open tuneup event hosted by Jack Nicklaus, and the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill in March.

Reigning Masters champion Woods, 43, has won 15 major titles, three shy of the record 18 captured by Nicklaus.

His victory this year at Augusta National snapped a major win drought dating to the 2008 US Open.

Woods has 81 career US PGA titles, one shy of the all-time record set by Sam Snead.

The Riviera tournament remains a benefit event for Woods' charity work through his TGR Foundation.