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Payday at TPC Sawgrass

Players 2021: Here's the prize money payout for each golfer at TPC Sawgrass

March 14, 2021

Sam Greenwood

When Justin Thomas shot a final-round 68 at TPC Sawgrass Sunday to win the Players Championship, he was surely thinking only about the prestige that comes from emerging as the last man standing against the strongest field in golf. Pulling out the victory, his 14th PGA Tour title, to go with the PGA Championship he won in 2017, cements Thomas as one of the best players of his generation at just 27 years old.

It also earned him the single biggest payday of his impressive career.

The Players Championship previously had laid claim to offering the most lucrative overall purse in professional golf, awarding $12.5 million in prize money payouts in 2019 with Rory McIlroy earning $2.25 million for his one-stroke victory over Jim Furyk. The USGA matched that total in the summer of 2019, but apparently PGA Tour officials really wanted to keep the “richest tournament in golf” title all to themselves. So in January 2020, they announced they were upping the ante at TPC Sawgrass, increasing the overall purse to $15 million and giving Thoams a $2.7 million first-place prize.

Since last year’s Players was canceled after one round due to COVID, this week’s event earns the right to call itself the single most lucrative tournament in golf history.

Just how big a payday is this? Here is the most recent prize money payout from the other three majors:

Masters: $11.5 million total/$2.07 million winner
PGA Championship: $11 million/$1.98 million
Open Championship: $10.75 million/$1.935 million

Put another way, you can finish in third place this week at TPC Sawgrass and still make more than $1 million. Or how about this: You can finish 22nd or better and make more money in one tournament than Arnold Palmer make in his winningest single season on the PGA Tour ($162,896 in 1971).

It’s impressive, too, when you consider the evolution of the Players prize money payout 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/$2.7 million

One caveat to the payday at TPC Sawgrass. The first-place check is NOT the biggest ever awarded in a tournament sanctioned by one of the primary pro golf tours. Matthew Fitzpatrick cashed a $3 million check when he won the European Tour’s DP World Tour Championship in December.

Here is the prize money payout for any golfer making the cut this week at TPC Sawgrass.

Win: Justin Thomas, 274/-14, $2,700,000

2: Lee Westwood, 275/-13, $1,635,000

T-3: Bryson DeChambeau, 276/-12, $885,000

T-3: Brian Harman, 276/-12, $885,000

T-5: Paul Casey, 277/-11, $579,375

T-5: Talor Gooch, 277/-11, $579,375

7: Corey Conners, 278/-10, $506,250

8: Shane Lowry, 279/-9, $468,750

T-9: Daniel Berger, 280/-8, $339,375

T-9: Matthew Fitzpatrick, 280/-8, $339,375

T-9: Sergio Garcia, 280/-8, $339,375

T-9: Charles Howell III, 280/-8, $339,375

T-9: Si Woo Kim, 280/-8, $339,375

T-9: Jason Kokrak, 280/-8, $339,375

T-9: Victor Perez, 280/-8, $339,375

T-9: Jon Rahm, 280/-8, $339,375

T-17: Charley Hoffman, 281/-7, $221,250

T-17: Sungjae Im, 281/-7, $221,250

T-17: Ryan Palmer, 281/-7, $221,250

T-17: Cameron Smith, 281/-7, $221,250

21: Will Zalatoris, 282/-6, $183,750

T-22: Dylan Frittelli, 283/-5, $135,964.29

T-22: Tyler McCumber, 283/-5, $135,964.29

T-22: J.T. Poston, 283/-5, $135,964.29

T-22: Patrick Reed, 283/-5, $135,964.29

T-22: Abraham Ancer, 283/-5, $135,964.28

T-22: Tom Hoge, 283/-5, $135,964.28

T-22: Adam Long, 283/-5, $135,964.28

T-29: Keegan Bradley, 284/-4, $96,125

T-29: Doug Ghim, 284/-4, $96,125

T-29: Adam Hadwin, 284/-4, $96,125

T-29: Harry Higgs, 284/-4, $96,125

T-29: Joaquin Niemann, 284/-4, $96,125

T-29: Cameron Percy, 284/-4, $96,125

T-35: Jason Day, 285/-3, $73,125

T-35: Lanto Griffin, 285/-3, $73,125

T-35: Patton Kizzire, 285/-3, $73,125

T-35: Phil Mickelson, 285/-3, $73,125

T-35: Ryan Moore, 285/-3, $73,125

T-35: Brendon Todd, 285/-3, $73,125

T-41: Christiaan Bezuidenhout, 286/-2, $53,250

T-41: James Hahn, 286/-2, $53,250

T-41: Zach Johnson, 286/-2, $53,250

T-41: Kyoung-Hoon Lee, 286/-2, $53,250

T-41: Collin Morikawa, 286/-2, $53,250

T-41: Louis Oosthuizen, 286/-2, $53,250

T-41: Brendan Steele, 286/-2, $53,250

T-48: Dustin Johnson, 287/-1, $38,035.72

T-48: Adam Scott, 287/-1, $38,035.72

T-48: Michael Thompson, 287/-1, $38,035.72

T-48: Lucas Glover, 287/-1, $38,035.71

T-48: Chris Kirk, 287/-1, $38,035.71

T-48: Jordan Spieth, 287/-1, $38,035.71

T48: Nick Taylor, 287/-1, $38,035.71

T-55: Ryan Armour, 288/E, $34,950

T-55: Matt Jones, 288/E, $34,950

T-55: Denny McCarthy, 288/E, $34,950

T-58: Kramer Hickok, 289/+1, $34,050

T-58: Billy Horschel, 289/+1, $34,050

T-58: Brian Stuard, 289/+1, $34,050

T-61: Scott Brown, 290/+2, $33,000

T-61: Scott Harrington, 290/+2, $33,000

T-61: Harold Varner III, 290/+2, $33,000

T-61: Jhonattan Vegas, 290/+2, $33,000

T-65: Patrick Rodgers, 291/+3, $32,100

T-65: Aaron Wise, 291/+3, $32,100

T-67: Russell Knox, 292/+4, $31,500

T-67: Rory Sabbatini, 292/+4, $31,500

T-69: Martin Laird, 293/+5, $30,900

T-69: Scott Piercy, 293/+5, $30,900

71: Nate Lashley, 294/+6, $30,450