PGA Tour Golf Tournaments That Pay the Most Prize Money to the Winner
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Rory McIlroyChristian Petersen/Getty Images
Winning a PGA Tour event is important for many reasons, but the most obvious reward is the size of the check.
And those numbers are only growing.
Feeling the pressure from the LIV Tour, the PGA Tour has significantly increased its purses and payouts throughout the year.
On the 2022-23 schedule, nine events award $3.6 million to the winner. Only one tournament pays more: $4.5 million.
Although the Tour Championship is not included, the winner receives a massive payout from winning the FedEx Cup Playoffs. Last year, Rory McIlroy collected $18 million for his season-ending victory.
WM Phoenix Open and Genesis Invitational
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Scottie SchefflerSteph Chambers/Getty Images
On consecutive weeks in February, the PGA Tour heads to the Western United States for a pair of $20 million events.
First up is the WM Phoenix Open, which features the most raucous environment in golf. Scottie Scheffler earned the victory in February to claim the first of nine $3.6 winning prizes on the schedule.
From there, the players shifted to The Genesis Invitational in Southern California. Jon Rahm secured that $3.6 million check this year.
Those payouts, compared to the 2022 season, increased from $1.476 million at the Phoenix Open and $2.16 million at The Genesis.
Arnold Palmer Invitational and RBC Heritage
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Kurt KitayamaSam Greenwood/Getty Images
By far, the coolest part of increased purses is the potential for a lesser-known player to celebrate a life-changing win.
Kurt Kitayama is a prime example. Before entering the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March 2023, he’d earned about $4.2 million in his career. Winning the API and its $3.6 million prize nearly doubled that total.
The next matching payout comes immediately after The Masters.
Jordan Spieth is the defending champion of the RBC Heritage, which previously disbursed $1.4 million to the winner. The Heritage has been included on the PGA Tour calendar since 1969.
Wells Fargo Invitational and the Memorial Tournament
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Billy HorschelJoe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Although the PGA Championship and U.S. Open grab a majority of the attention in May and June, respectively, the opening week of each month also features a $3.6 million tournament.
Quail Hollow in North Carolina usually puts on the Wells Fargo Championship, which may shift elsewhere if the typical course is set to host a major in a given year. Max Homa lifted the trophy in 2022 and received a $1.62 million prize that is now more than doubled.
The increase isn’t quite as large at the Memorial.
Still, the payout for winning on the Jack Nicklaus-designed course has risen noticeably, relative to the $2.16 million won by Billy Horschel in 2022.
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Xander SchauffeleFred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Immediately after the U.S. Open, the Travelers Championship offers the final $3.6 million of the regular season.
The history of the tournament—previously named the Greater Hartford Open and Buick Championship, among others—dates back to 1952 and has always been played in Connecticut. The current course, TPC River Highlands, began hosting the event in 1984.
Xander Schauffele is the reigning winner on the par-70 course, and he pocketed just shy of $1.5 million in 2022.
The tournament is slated for the last full weekend of June this year.
St. Jude and BMW Championships
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Patrick CantlayAndy Lyons/Getty Images
The final elevated events with a $3.6 million reward are the St. Jude Championship and BMW Championship, although these tournaments are a bit more exclusive.
To begin the FedEx Cup Playoffs in August, the St. Jude includes the top 125 players in the season point standings. The field is then trimmed to 70 for the BMW Championship, which doesn’t have a cut after the second round but sets the stage for the Tour Championship.
Only 30 players move through the St. Jude and BMW for a shot at the eight-figure windfall at East Lake in Atlanta.
Will Zalatoris and Patrick Cantlay won the respective events in 2022.
The Players Championship
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Scottie SchefflerBrennan Asplen/PGA TOUR via Getty Images
It’s only fitting that The Players Championship doubles as the most lucrative event on the PGA Tour calendar.
Since 1982, the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass—complete with the iconic island hole—has hosted the event.
The tournament first paid $1 million to its winner back in 2000. Fast-forward two-plus decades, and The Players now awards a $4.5 million check to the champion as part of a $25 million purse, which is also the highest of any regular-season event.
This past March, Scottie Scheffler rolled to a five-stroke victory at the prestigious, unofficial “fifth major” on Tour.