Pay day at Augusta
April 12, 2020

To the winner goes the spoils: A brief history of the Masters prize money payout

Tiger-woods-2019-masters-trophy-prize-ceremony

Tiger-woods-2019-masters-trophy-prize-ceremony

Tiger Woods celebrates with the Masters Trophy during the Green Jacket Ceremony after winning the 2019 Masters.

Photo by: Andrew Redington

Andrew Redington

If there’s one tournament in golf where how much the winner makes in prize money is truly ancillary to everything else that comes with claiming the title, it’s the Masters. The legacy of being one of the select golfers to own a green jacket, along with having a space in the Champions locker room, a seat at the Champions dinner and a place in golf history, is worth more than the payout that will be wired to your bank account.

Still, make no mistake about it, those who shake the Augusta National chairman’s hand in Butler Cabin at the conclusion of the tournament earn an impressive financial reward. The club usually releases the prize money payout during tournament week, so we don’t know what first place might have earned in 2020 (or at least we’ll have to wait until November).

A year ago the Masters prize money payout for the field hit an all-time high of $11.5 million, up $500,000 from 2018.

The champion, Tiger Woods, made a record amount as well, as the club gave out more than $2 million to the winner for the first time in Masters history. Woods earned $2.07 million, up from the $1.98 million that Patrick Reed claimed in 2018.

What’s interesting is to track how much Woods has made during his career at Augusta. Here’s a breakdown of his Masters prize money payout for every year he's competed as a professional:

1997: Win, $486,000
1998: T-8, $89,600
1999: T-18, $52,160
2000: 5, $184,000
2001: Win, $1,008,000
2002: Win, $1,008,000
2003: T-15, $93,000
2004: T-22, $70,200
2005: Win, $1,260,000
2006: T-3, $315,700
2007: T-2, $541,333
2008: 2, $810,000
2009: T-6, $242,813
2010: T-4, $330,000
2011: T-4, $330,667
2012: T-40, $32,000
2013: T-4, $352,000
2015: T-17, $155,000
2018: T-32, $63,663
2019: Win, $2,070,000

With his victory, Woods also returned to being the all-time career money leader in Masters history, jumping past Phil Mickelson. Woods had earned $9.49 million, with Mickelson having won $8.018 million.

Here’s a look at the top 25 on the Masters career money list along with some notable past champions and where they shake out:

Masters career money leaders
1: Tiger Woods, $9,494,136
2: Phil Mickelson, $8,018,037
3: Jordan Spieth, $4,561,156
4: Bubba Watson, $3,931,855
5: Adam Scott, $3,635,277
6: Justin Rose, $3,622,515
7: Ángel Cabrera, $3,473,357
8: Lee Westwood, $3,386,815
9: Sergio Garcia, $3,223,530
10: Fred Couples, $2,734,521
11: Vijay Singh, $2,541,305
12: Ernie Els, $2,486,843
13: José María Olazábal, $2,480,383
14: Rickie Fowler, $2,395,300
15: Charl Schwartzel, $2,349,563
16: Jason Day, $2,284,848
17: Retief Goosen, $2,277,980
18: Dustin Johnson, $2,156,475
19: Patrick Reed, $2,155,788
20: Rory McIlroy, $2,080,521
21: Trevor Immelman, $2,000,573
22: Paul Casey, $1,988,676
23: Matt Kuchar, $1,986,250
24: Zach Johnson, $1,898,652
25: Mike Weir, $1,869,337

Other Notables
63: Jack Nicklaus, $748,359
153: Gary Player, $239,552
195: Arnold Palmer, $139,163.33
290: Sam Snead, $50,881.25
354: Ben Hogan, $32,735
428: Byron Nelson, $15,686.99
497: Gene Sarazen, $7,077.25

And here’s the evolution of how much the champion has earned over the years:

1934: $1,500
1935: $1,500
1936: $1,500
1937: $1,500
1938: $1,500
1939: $1,500
1940: $1,500
1941: $1,500
1942: $1,500
1943-’45: No Masters (WWII)
1946: $2,500
1947: $2,500
1948: $2,500
1949: $2,750
1950: $2,400
1951: $3,000
1952: $4,000
1953: $4,000
1954: $5,000
1955: $5,000
1956: $6,000
1957: $8,750
1958: $11,250
1959: $15,000
1960: $17,500
1961: $20,000
1962: $20,000
1963: $20,000
1964: $20,000
1965: $20,000
1966: $20,000
1967: $20,000
1968: $20,000
1969: $20,000
1970: $25,000
1971: $25,000
1972: $25,000
1973: $30,000
1974: $35,000
1975: $40,000
1976: $40,000
1977: $40,000
1978: $45,000
1979: $50,000
1980: $55,000
1981: $60,000
1982: $64,000
1983: $90,000
1984: $108,000
1985: $126,000
1986: $144,000
1987: $162,000
1988: $183,800
1989: $200,000
1990: $225,000
1991: $243,000
1992: $270,000
1993: $306,000
1994: $360,000
1995: $396,000
1996: $450,000
1997: $486,000
1998: $576,000
1999: $720,000
2000: $828,000
2001: $1,008,000
2002: $1,008,000
2003: $1,080,000
2004: $1,117,000
2005: $1,260,000
2006: $1,260,000
2007: $1,305,000
2008: $1,350,000
2009: $1,350,000
2010: $1,350,000
2011: $1,440,000
2012: $1,440,000
2013: $1,440,000
2014: $1,620,000
2015: $1,800,000
2016: $1,800,000
2017: $1,980,000
2018: $1,980,000
2019: $2,070,000


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