Money Matters
September 25, 2020

The list of the top money winners in every current PGA Tour event is more bizarre than you'd think

Sony Open In Hawaii - Final Round

Harry How

Brendan Steele remained the all-time leader in earnings at the Safeway Open after his T-29 finish in Napa, Calif., two weeks ago.

Brendan Steele did not win another Safeway Open two weeks ago at Silverado Resort in Northern California, to the consternation of fantasy golf players everywhere. Twice the champ in Napa (2017 and 2018), the 37-year-old PGA Tour veteran opened with a 65 and looked like he might make another run at title No. 3, but ultimately finished T-29. Still, that was the sixth straight time he’d made the cut in the tournament and the eighth in 10 career starts.

Moreover, Steele earned $41,391 for his effort, which allowed him to keep hold of an interesting designation in tournament lore. Steele remains first on the event’s all-time earnings list, having now made $2,532,831.55 in those 10 career starts. Having earned a little more than $16 million in 10 seasons on tour, that equates 15.8 percent of his overall earnings just from his play in Napa. Apparently, the man truly does like wine country.

As it turns out, Steele is one of 32 tour pros who are the career money leaders in at least one of the PGA Tour 48 current events. Not surprisingly, there is one player who holds in the top spot in several tournaments: Tiger Woods is the money leader at 11 tour stops (we’re including the Zozo Championship even if it has only been played once). Six other players can boast that they’re No. 1 at two tournaments:

Sergio Garcia: Players Championship, AT&T Byron Nelson
Dustin Johnson: Sentry Tournament of Champions, Northern Trust
Jim Furyk: RBC Hertigate, RBC Canadian Open
Rory McIlroy: WGC-HSBC Champions, Wells Fargo Championship
Phil Mickelson: Waste Management Phoenix Open, AT&T Pebble Beach
Webb Simpson: Wyndham Championship, RSM Classic

A deeper dive into the list of golfers who are the all-time money leaders at current PGA Tour stops reveals a fair number of names that might surprise you. For instance, would you have guessed that Jason Dufner is No. 1 in earnings at a tour stop? (The folks at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans would.) Or that Ernie Els tops the all-time earnings in a major championship?

We first published this list last November. Since then two tournaments have seen their top earner change: Luke Donald with a T-11 finish that earned him $145,200, passed Rickie Fowler at the Honda Classic, and Bryson DeChambeau with his win at the Rocket Mortgage jumped over 2019 champion Nate Lashley to the No. 1 spot in the two-year-old event.

Below is the complete list for the curious. Again, we’ve included the tournaments that made their debuts in 2019 (Zozo, Bermuda, Rocket Mortgage and 3M Open). We’re guessing you’ll get the same kick that we did out of the members of this unusual club.