CARLSBAD, Calif. — The rapidly expanding PGA Senior Tour will include its first $1 million tournament, a $1-million bonus pool and a $630,000 super-seniors circuit.
The programs were announced jointly by PGA Tour Commissioner Deane Beman and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., manufacturers of Vantage cigarettes, a major sponsor on the regular PGA Tour last year. Vantage's total sponsorship package will be more than $3 million. Other sponsors on the tour bring the total prize money to more than $10 million.
Included in the Vantage package are:
--The $1 million Vantage Championship, in October in North Carolina (the date and site to be announced).
A $1-million bonus pool, the Vantage Cup, to be divided between individual players and tournament sponsors. Money will be awarded on a year-long point list based on players' finishes in regular-season events.
--Two or three other existing Senior Tour events (to be named), with $500,000 to $750,000 in prize money.
--A super-seniors series, for players 60 or older. Vantage will offer $35,000 at 18 selected Senior Tour events in a separate but simultaneous 36-hole competition for super-seniors. A total of $630,000 will be offered.
The regular Seniors Tour is for players 55 and over.
The Vantage Cup competition will be based on points. Players earn points for finishes in the top 40 in all regular-season events.
At the same time, they earn points for the tournament sponsors that drafted them on two-man teams to represent the tournaments in the season-long competition.
Bruce Crampton, winner of seven 1986 seniors tournaments and a record $454,299, was the first player chosen in a draft of players.
Crampton was selected by the Greenbriar tournament, which got the No. 1 choice in a blind draw for position.