Let's talk money.
Actually, let's talk about A LOT of money.
It was announced in January that THE PLAYERS Championship's purse will be $12.5 million in 2019, making it the biggest pot for a single tournament in PGA Tour history.
This means that the victor at TPC Sawgrass in March will walk away with $2.25 million, which is 18-percent of the total purse.
If you've done the math correctly, that also means that the victor of THE PLAYERS Championship 2019 will take home the highest total ever in the half-century history of the tournament.
So why is this significant? Well let's take a deep dive:
A Quick History of THE PLAYERS Purse
The jump up to $12.5 million may come as a surprise given the recent history of purse amounts.
In 2018, the total was set at $11 million, which was a $500,000 increase from 2017.
The total purse for THE PLAYERS has not increased by more than $500,000 since 2007, and hasn't jumped up by $1.5 million since the 2004 tournament.
The 13.6-percent purse increase from 2018 to 2019 is the highest percent change since the 23.1-percent rise from 2003-04.
But overall — THE PLAYERS Championship has seen a consistent surge over it's 45-year history. The 1974 edition of the tournament had a purse of $250,000, which rose to $1 million by 1987. THE PLAYERS reached $5 million by 1999, and has more than doubled that amount to $12.5 million just 20 years later. While inflation has a role to play, it's still a significant rise for the prestigious tournament.
THE PLAYERS purse Compared to Major Championships
To compete with the big boys, you have to spend like them.
While not an official major championship on the PGA Tour calendar, THE PLAYERS Championship is often considered the sport's unofficial fifth major, and the big payout plays a role in that.
But when statistically compared to the four biggest tournaments on the PGA calendar, how does THE PLAYERS Championship stack up?
Right now it's looking pretty good for the annual contest at TPC Sawgrass, as it outpays the four majors from last year.
Here is the purse values for the four major championships last in 2018.
The Masters® — $11 million
U.S. Open — $12 Million
The Open Championship — $10.5 Million
PGA Championship — $11 Million
Purse for The Players Championship to increase from $11 million to $12.5 million this year. Per Tour schedule that’s the largest in 2019 (U.S. Open currently listed at $12 million as second largest).— Rex Hoggard (@RexHoggardGC) January 26, 2019
But since THE PLAYERS is now teeing off before any of 2019's major championships, it does beg the question....
How Long Will It Last?
The one take away from this news is that it may just be temporary. While major championship numbers aren't released until they get closer on the schedule, there's a likelihood that one of the four will either match $12.5 million or surpass it in 2019 — our prediction is the U.S. Open.
However, only time will tell if THE PLAYERS is the one setting the financial pace for the 2019 PGA Tour schedule.
But regardless of whether it's purse is beaten out, it's worth noting that THE PLAYERS Championship is on an elite level in the sport — both competitively and financially.
Join THE PLAYERS Club with an Official Ticket Package
The highest prize in the sport calls for the best guest experience. Enjoy the action at TPC Sawgrass from the comfort of THE PLAYERS Club with an Official Experience Package from THE PLAYERS Experiences. You can buy individual tickets to each practice and tournament day at TPC Sawgrass and enjoy the luxurious accommodations in the TPC Sawgrass Clubhouse all in one package. Check out the official offering below: