Byline: Lenox Rawlings
May 6--CHARLOTTE -- Golf wallows in status, and status bathes in materialism, and few American cities worship materialism more than Charlotte.
The intersection of all that money and all that love of money created favorable conditions for a knockout PGA tournament, which the Wachovia Championship became in five quick years.
Wachovia, the nation's fourth-richest bank since merging with even-larger First Union, writes the checks: $6.3 million for the competitive purse, more than $1.1 million for the winner and undisclosed big bucks for promotion.
For status accountants, the purse ranks 13th on the tour, behind the three World Golf Championship tournaments and The Players Championship ($8 million), the four major championships (maximum $7.4 million) and the four FedEx Cup tournaments ($7 million, plus a $10 million bonus to the series champ crowned at the Tour Championship).
On Wachovia's collection end, 27 of the top 30 players in the world rankings showed up, most of them gushing …