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Money Matters

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

January 09, 2023

As the Sony Open in Hawaii's all-time career money leader, Charles Howell III is among several surprise players to boast being the top-earner in a PGA Tour stop.

Cliff Hawkins

Charles Howell III is missing this week’s Sony Open in Hawaii for the first time in 22 years, a consequence of his decision last July to join the LIV Golf circuit and leave behind his history on the PGA Tour. That means the 43-year-old won’t be able to add to the notable career money haul he’s enjoyed at Waialae Country Club.

In 21 career appearances in Honolulu, Howell has made $3,062,191.91 in prize money payouts, making him the tournament’s career money leader. It’s an impressive feat when you consider that Howell never won the event, but rather made the cut all 21 times, with two second-place finishes, two thirds and 10 top-10s.

As it turns out, Howell is one of 35 tour pros who are the career money leaders in at least one of the PGA Tour’s 47 events on the 2022-23 schedule. Not surprisingly, there is one player who holds the top spot in several tournaments: Tiger Woods is the money leader at eight tour stops (it was at nine, but the WGC-Championship event, played over the years at Doral Resort and in Mexico, is no longer on the PGA Tour schedule). Six other players can boast that they’re No. 1 at two tournaments:

Sam Burns: Valspar, Sanderson Farms
Tony Finau: Rocket Mortgage, 3M Open
Jim Furyk
: RBC Heritage, RBC Canadian Open
Dustin Johnson: Sentry TOC, WGC-FedEx St. Jude
Phil Mickelson: Waste Management Phoenix Open, AT&T Pebble Beach
Jon Rahm: Sentry Tournament of Champions, Mexico Open

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 Michael Bradley is No. 1 in earnings at a tour stop? (The folks at the Puerto Rico Open would.) How about Aaron Baddeley (Barbasol Championship) or J.J. Henry (Barracuda Championship)? Or that Ernie Els still tops the all-time earnings in a major championship (The Open)?

Since the last time we published this list in January 2022, eight tournaments have seen their top earner change: K.H. Lee (AT&T Byron Nelson), Max Homa (Fortinet), Burns (Valspar), Rickie Fowler (Honda Classic), Finau (Rocket Mortgage, 3M Open), Seamus Power (Butterfield Bermuda) and Rahm just this past weekend at the Sentry TOC.

Below is the complete list for the curious. We’re guessing you’ll get the same kick that we did out of the members of this unusual club. And stay tuned for more movement in 2023. No doubt that will be a byproduct of the substantial purse increases in 13 “elevated” events (up to $20 million being paid out in each) on tap for the tour in the new year.