The Loop

Finchem: 'Happiest person today might be Tiger'

August 09, 2009

AKRON, Ohio -- An anemic economy proved no obstacle to the PGA Tour's relationship with Bridgestone, which was extended by four years, the two entities announced on Sunday. Bridgestone will continue as the title sponsor the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational through 2014.

"The happiest person today might be Tiger, winning 60 or 70 percent of the time he plays here," PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem said of Woods, who has won six times at Firestone Country Club and was in second place at the start of play on Sunday.

Finchem wouldn't say whether the purse would remain $8.5 million, but he did reveal that the tour expects prize money overall to grow in the next several years, despite the economy.

"All you know, we announce prize money on an anual basis," he said. "We'll continue to do that. But I'll just say that generally, as I've said many times publicly, our prize money is not going to grow the next four or five years at the same rate of increase that it has in the past five years. But it is going to continue to grow at some level."

-- John Strege