Nothing 'silly' about big money payouts at the Target
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. -- The reigning Masters champion is still getting used to some of the perks that now come his way. Sort of like a kid at Christmas, Zach Johnson's eyes were wide open and his excitement escalated when he arrived in Southern California for the Target World Challenge."They call it the Silly Season," Johnson said of the plethora of offseason events that dot the schedule this time of year. "If this is a Silly Season tournament, then we've got to recheck our tournament protocol, because this is as good as it gets, as far as I'm concerned." Johnson shot 3-under-par 69 at Sherwood Country Club on Thursday to trail first-round leader Jim Furyk by one stroke at the $5.75-million tournament. And that big money is not a misprint. The purse here is larger than all but a handful of regular tournaments on the PGA Tour, most of which pay in the $5 million to $5.5 million range. And when you consider there are just 16 players, it makes this a bit more than just a hit-and-giggle tournament. "It's almost like a World Golf Championship event without a full field," Johnson said. "It's awesome." Since the PGA Tour season officially ended in early November at the Children's Miracle Network Classic, there have been four other tournaments with PGA Tour sanctioning: the World Cup, the Skins Game, the Father/Son Challenge and the Merrill Lynch Shootout. Each one of those tournaments employed some sort of team format.
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