You could accuse the PGA Tour officials of being like some crazed eBay user who can’t help but outbid the Players Championship purse. The tour’s flagship tournament had claimed the most lucrative overall purse in professional golf from 2019 when Rory McIlroy took home $2.25 million for his one-shot win over Jim Furyk from an overall prize of $12.5 million of dollars. The USGA matched that with its US Open purse later that year, only to watch the tour raise the bar at TPC Sawgrass with a $15 million purse and $2.7 million prize money. for the winner from 2020.
Ahead of this year’s players, the PGA Tour uninvited got better again, boosting the overall purse by 33% to $20 million while handing out the winner a top prize of $3.6 million.
How big is a payday? Here is the latest cash installment from the other three majors:
Mastery: $11.5 million/$2.070 million
PGA Championship: $12 million / $2.16 million
US Open: $12.5 million/$2.25 million
Open Championship: $11.5 million/$2,070
In other words, you can finish in fourth place this week at TPC Sawgrass and win close to a million dollars. Or how about this: You can finish 25th or better and make more money in a tournament than Arnold Palmer in his most winning season on the PGA Tour ($162,896 in 1971).
It’s impressive, too, considering how player prize money has evolved since the tournament’s inception in 1974.
Year: Total Purse/First Place
1974: $250,000 / Jack Nicklaus, $50,000
1982: $500,000 / Jerry Pate, $90,000
1987: $1 million / Sandy Lyle, $180,000
1993: $2.5 million / Nick Price, $450,000
2000: $6 million/Hal Sutton, $1.08 million
2007: $9 million / Phil Mickelson, $1.62 million
2014 : $10 million / Martin Kaymer, $1.8 million
2018: $11 million / Webb Simpson, $1.89 million
2019: $12.5 million/Rory McIlroy, $2.25 million
2021: $15 million / Justin Thomas, $2.7 million
The salary at TPC Sawgrass also now exceeds the biggest first-place check in professional golf, which had been the $3 million given to the winner of the DP World Tour Championship on the DP World Tour.
Here’s the prize money for any golfer making the cut this week at TPC Sawgrass. We will update the message after the tournament ends to indicate how much each player left from Ponte Vedra beach.