The Tiger Woods’ hosted Genesis Open and the PGA Tour announced that the annual tournament contested at Riviera Country Club will get a promotion come 2020.
Starting with next year’s edition, the Genesis Open will become an elevated invitational, putting it on par with tournaments associated with golf icons Arnold Palmer and (AP Invitational) and Jack Nicklaus (the Memorial).
As a premium invitational, the Genesis Open will offer a larger than normal purse, a three-year (instead of two-year) PGA Tour exemption to the winner, and a limited invitational field of 120 players. Officials were noncommittal to a name change that would reflect its invitational status, e.g. Genesis Invitational.
The purse for next year’s event will award prizes totaling $9.3 million, an increase of nearly $2 million, while the winner will receive $1.674 million. This year’s winner will be awarded $1.26 million.
“To do it here where I grew up and to do it here where my entire career got started, couldn’t ask for more of a symbolic outcome,” Woods said during a press conference on Wednesday.
“We’re just so excited about this opportunity to showcase what we’ve done as a foundation for over 20 years, and this elevation status will certainly help that. It is going to help so many more kids’ lives, and we’re able to do that with a tournament like this.”
The Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill Club in Orlando, Florida, and the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio are the only events that operate in a similar elevated fashion.
Both have 120-player invitational fields with purses larger than regular PGA Tour stops, and more on the level of World Golf Championships.
The Tour, in partnership with broadcast networks, will use the event to promote Woods’ record-setting career, as well as his charitable foundation.
“It’s going to give us a week and an opportunity every single year to reflect upon this man’s [Woods] staggering accomplishments on the golf course and his staggering philanthropic contributions,” sais PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan.
“Something that we’re excited to tell the world for a long time to come.
“I think it’s a special moment in time when you think about a man that’s won 80 times on the PGA TOUR, having an event that he hosts being elevated into the same realm as both two of his — two golf icons and two of his legends and mentors, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus.”