Originally created 09/30/03

Prize money reaches $7 million in WGC



THOMASTOWN, Ireland -- Prize money for the World Golf Championships will increase next year to $7 million, with a $1.2 million going to the winner.

The purse would be the highest in golf, although The Players Championship likely will increase its prize money when the PGA Tour event is played in March.

The European tour disclosed the purse increase in announcing Monday that one of the WGC events, the American Express Championship, will return to Mount Juliet in Ireland next year, played Sept. 30 to Oct. 3.

Three WGC events had a $6 million purse this year, while The Players Championship was $6.5 million.

Tiger Woods won the American Express in Ireland last year, making his only bogey of the tournament on the final hole to finish at 25 under par for a one-stroke victory over Retief Goosen.

Woods defends his title this week outside Atlanta.