JOHANNESBURG -- South Africa will stage a new World Golf Championships tournament from 2013.
The $8.5 million Tournament of Hope, the fifth WGC event, will be held over the first weekend of December next year, organizers said Sunday. It is likely to clash with Tiger Woods’ Chevron Challenge and South Africa’s Nedbank Golf Challenge at Sun City.
It would be played on “similar dates” in the future, the organizing International Federation of PGA Tours said.
The new tournament will be co-sanctioned by South Africa’s Sunshine Tour and prize money would also count on the European Tour’s Race to Dubai money list.
South Africa’s tour had initially said the event would be the world’s richest, with prize money of $10 million on offer, but it will now offer the same purse as the three U.S.-based WGC events: the Accenture Matchplay, the Cadillac Championship and the Bridgestone Invitational.
The other current WGC event, the HSBC Champions in China, offers $7 million in prize money, while the PGA Tour’s Players Championship is golf’s richest at $9.5 million.
K.J. Choi picked up a check for $1.71 million for winning last year’s Players, $270,000 more than South Africa’s Charl Schwartzel made at the Masters. The three WGC events in America offer $1.4 million to the winner.
“The $8.5-million Tournament of Hope will be a major international competition for the world’s best professional golfers,” the International Federation of PGA tours said, “with eligibility similar to that of the four World Golf Championship events.”
The federation said details including specific player eligibility and the venue for the first WGC event in Africa and second outside the U.S. would be announced later.