It’s comparing apples to apple sauce when you contrast modern-day prize money payouts on the PGA Tour with those from previous eras. But it’s still eye-opening to see the difference in what today’s tour pros earn from their predecessors. And the Sentry Tournament of Champions, an event that’s been on the PGA Tour’s schedule at various courses and with various sponsors since 1953, offers an interesting example.
During his legendary career, Jack Nicklaus won the TOC five times, two more than any player in tournament history. He played in the event on 17 official occasions, had 12 top-10 finishes in those starts and earned a total of $228,429.17 in the tournament during his career.
Now take a look at the prize money payout this week at the Plantation Course at Kapalua and you’ll see that come Sunday, any golfer who finishes in solo sixth place or better will earn more than Nicklaus for his career.
Let’s go a little deeper by looking at another golf great, Tom Watson, who is one of four players to win the TOC three times. He made 14 starts in the tournament during his career, had seven top-10 finishes and earned $318,469.13 overall. Add that to Nicklaus’ total, and you get $546,888.30. This week’s winner and any player who finishes alone or up to a three-way tie for second, then, will make more money for his four rounds this week than Nicklaus and Watson did in 31 combined starts (122 rounds) while winning eight times.
This year’s overall purse is $6.7 million with the winner earning a prize money payout of $1.34 million. Here’s the amount of money each player will earn in the no-cut event. Come back shortly after the end of the tournament and we’ll update with individual play names and their earnings.