Players 2020: Why those who teed it up at TPC Sawgrass will still earn a sizable check

March 13, 2020

Sam Greenwood

No golfer will take home the Players Championship gold trophy this week, but that doesn't mean the PGA Tour pros who teed it up at TPC Sawgrass will leave Ponte Vedra Beach empty-handed.

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan conveyed this little bit of news during an otherwise somber Friday morning press conference following the tour's flagship event being canceled on Thursday night due to coronavirus fears. Of course, how tour pros are being compensated is low on the list of important matters during the middle of a global pandemic, but, anyway, here's the reasoning.

"I'm sure the question is coming, but as it relates to this week, our regulations stipulate that if you complete one round of a championship, we pay 50 percent of the purse," Monahan said. "We almost completed one round of this championship, and we will pay 50 percent of the purse to our players equally distributed amongst our players."

The 2020 Players Championship has a prize pool of $15 million, the biggest purse in professional golf history.

Let's do some math. Half of $15 million is $7.5 million. And $7.5 million divided by 144 players is (* checks phone calculator *) $52,083.33. Not too shabby for one day's work—especially considering the U.S. median household income in 2019 was $63,688.

Of course, it's not the $2.7 million prize Hideki Matsuyama had his eyes on after firing an opening 63 on Thursday to grab a two-shot lead. But for guys like Nick Watney and Patton Kizzire, both of whom opened with 79, it's a nice little bonus considering they had little chance of making the cut. Then again, with the PGA Tour canceling events for the next three weeks before the Masters, these guys aren't going to be getting tournament checks for a while.

Monahan was asked specifically if any money would go to C.T. Pan, who withdrew ahead of his first-round tee time, and said the following:

"He did not compete in the tournament."

That would be a no. Brendan Steele replaced Pan in the field.

Monahan was not asked about Louis Oosthuizen, who withdrew after a few holes. He was asked if others working at the tournament would be compensated.

"That's a … to your point, there are a lot of people in constituent groups, but as it relates to running our golf tournaments, I would just tell you that while we're not hosting the tournaments," Monahan said. "These tournaments are … they're foundational and they're community assets and community treasures, and all the people that work at our tournaments are going to use this to help their communities and start planning for next year's event. So yeah, they will be -- my expectation is that the staffs will continue, they'll proceed and do everything they can to help those communities, and we're going to be their partner in that process."