The WGC-HSBC Champions will return to make its “permanent home” in Shanghai next year with an increased, Major-size purse of US$8.5 million, officials announced on Sunday.
Title sponsor HSBC is extending its current contract for another three years, they said on the last day of this year’s edition at Mission Hills in Dongguan.
The event will also be included as an official event on next year’s PGA Tour schedule, with the winner earning a three-year exemption to play on the American circuit.
“Today’s announcements are important in elevating the status of the WGC-HSBC Champions as a whole,” said PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem.
The tournament, likely to be Asia’s richest next year, was played at Shanghai’s Sheshan course for its first seven editions before moving temporarily to Mission Hills, near the Hong Kong border, this season.
However, Finchem said the PGA would continue to exert its policy of not letting players receive appearance fees – raising the spectre of more no-shows after Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods, the world No 1 and 2, opted out this year.
With PGA seasons due to start late in the year, the WGC-HSBC Champions will take on added significance in the American tour’s annual FedEx Cup race.
“This event will take on new meaning because it will have an important impact on the status of the FedEx Cup standings as we come into the first week of the season,” Finchem said.
The increased prize money puts the Asian showpiece on a par with the purses at the other three World Golf Championship events, which are all played in the United States. This year’s purse is US$7 million.