Golf-Record purse of $7.5 million for new biennial World Cup

LONDON, March 15 Mon Mar 15, 2010 5:23pm GMT

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LONDON, March 15 (Reuters) - The World Cup is to become a biennial event and after a break this year the team competition will return in 2011 with a record purse of $7.5 million.

The World Cup, which has been held annually since 1953 apart from two occasions in the 1980s, will next year boast one of the richest prize funds in golf when it is held at the Mission Hills Resort on Hainan Island in southern China from Nov. 24-27.

One of the reasons for the change was last year's decision by the International Olympic Committee to re-introduce golf to the Olympic movement from 2016.

"By playing ... alternate years from 2011 the World Cup is aligned with many of the major sports in the Olympic movement, such as the world athletics championships, which are contested biennially and are not in any potential conflict with the summer and Winter Olympic Games," organisers said in a statement.

The Olympic tournament will be an individual competition but the World Cup is the oldest international team event in men's professional golf where players represent their own countries.

Next year's purse goes up by $2 million to $7.5 million, with the winning two-man team sharing a first prize of $2.4 million.

Stephen Urquhart, president of tournament sponsors Omega, said: "One of the main reasons for making the World Cup a biennial event is it should give all the federations involved a better opportunity to send their best teams."

(Editing by Ed Osmond, To query or comment on this story email sportsfeedback@thomsonreuters.com)

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