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PGA prize fund given a big boost

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LONDON, England -- A record prize fund of 4.35 million euros ($5.72 million) will be on offer at this year's PGA Championship, the European Tour has announced.

That is an increase of 100,000 euros on the 2006 tournament won by Britain's David Howell.

The 31-year-old Englishman will be chasing a record first prize of 725,000 euros when he bids for back-to-back victories at the Wentworth course in Surrey from May 24-27.

Sponsor BMW has also agreed to extend its backing of the European Tour's flagship event until 2010.

The PGA Championship has a long and rich history going back to 1955 when Ken Bousfield won the inaugural edition.

Nick Faldo lifted the trophy four times in 1978, 1980, 1981 and 1989 while Colin Montgomerie claimed a hat-trick of titles between 1998-2000.

Bernhard Langer was another triple champion in 1987, 1993 and 1995.

Briton Howell will be defending champion at the PGA Championship at Wentworth.

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