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PGA Tour Charity Record Grows

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FL -- PGA tour tournaments combined to generate almost $40 million for charity in 1998.

That total represents an increase of $6 million over 1997, when $33,995,646 was raised. It also marks the seventh consecutive year, as well as the 20th time in the last 21 years, that PGA tour tournaments have increased their charity donations.

"PGA tour events continue to set a high standard when it comes to charity," said Commissioner Tim Finchem. "The tournaments take great pride in what they've accomplished over the years, and well they should. They keep raising the bar, and the 1998 charity figure gives them another lofty target to shoot for next season."

"This latest charity record is a tribute to the thousands of volunteers who are the heart of PGA tour events," said Dwight Drinkard, president of the PGA tour Tournaments Association. "Our member tournaments are proud to be such an integral part of a 60-plus year tradition of contributing to charity."

The first charity donation made by a tour event was $10,000 by the Palm Beach Invitational in 1938. The 1998 charity record lifts the PGA tour events' all-time total of charitable donations to almost $380 million.

Combine that with more than $63 million raised by senior PGA tour events and $13.9 million generated by NIKE tour tournaments, and the charity total for the three tours managed by the PGA tour is more than $450 million.

Senior tour and Nike tour events also established records in 1998. Senior tour tournaments generated $10.07 million for charity, while NIKE tour events reached an all-time high of $2.5 million. The three TOURs generated more than $52 million for charitable causes last season.

The PGA tour record also lifts to more than $237 million the amount given to charity by PGA tour events during the decade of the '90s.

The GTE Byron Nelson Classic, traditionally the leader among PGA tour events, headed the 1998 list with a donation of $4.3 million.

TW 4/1/98