LOS ANGELES: 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 (Tuesday in Manila).

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.

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Tiger Woods AP PHOTO

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.

Meanwhile, South Korea’s Ko Jin-young won the Evian Championship on Sunday, her second major of 2019.

The 24-year-old, who captured the ANA Inspiration earlier this season, fired a final round 67 for 15-under for the championship and a two-shot victory.

Ko had been four shots off the lead overnight but she mastered the rain and cold at the Alpine venue, carding just one bogey on Sunday.

Third round leader and compatriot Kim Hyo-joo, China’s Feng Shanshan and Jennifer Kupcho of the United States finished tied for second on 13 under par.

It was her third title overall for 2019 and she becomes the first multiple-major winner in the same season since Inbee Park in 2015.

Ko will have little time to dwell on her success with the Women’s British Open due to start at Woburn on Thursday.

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A 20-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole gave Ko a two-stroke cushion going to the par-5 18th and she played it comfortably for a two-putt par that sealed the win.

Kupcho may have played her way into the USA’s Solheim Cup team with a bogey-free 66.

AFP



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