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HSBC Champions to become PGA Tour event

Ian Poulter
Ross Kinnaird / Getty Images
Ian Poulter won the 2012 HSBC Champions by two shots on Sunday.

SHENZHEN, China (AP) -- Organizers said Sunday that the HSBC Champions will become an official PGA Tour event next year.

They added that the total purse at the World Golf Championship event will increase to $8.5 million from the current $7 million.

The event is currently the only one of the four WGC events not fully recognized by the PGA Tour. A win is only considered a PGA Tour victory if the winner is a PGA Tour member, but the prize money is not counted toward the player's PGA Tour money list.

PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem said starting next year, the HSBC Champions will be elevated to the same status as the other three WGC events - the Accenture Match Play Championship, the Cadillac Championship and the Bridgestone Invitational. All three of those events are played in the United States.

FedEx Cup points will be awarded with the same 10 percent premium offered by the other WGC events and prize money will be counted as official money on the PGA Tour. The winner will receive a three-year exemption on the PGA Tour.

Organizers also announced that the tournament will return to Shanghai permanently in 2013 after being held this year at Missing Hill Golf Club in Shenzhen. All seven previous HSBC Champions tournaments had been held at Sheshan International Golf Club in Shanghai.

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