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

Hideki Matsuyama and his team are all smiles after his 2021 Masters win.

JD Cuban

April 07, 2022

If there’s one tournament in golf where how much the winner makes in prize money is 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 you’ll find in your bank account.

Make no mistake, however, those who shake the Augusta National chairman’s hand in Butler Cabin at the conclusion of the tournament earn an impressive financial reward.

As chatter over how much top golfers are making in PGA Tour events has increased, and the prize money payouts during the 2021-22 season are jumping from $367 million to $427 million, there is speculation that Augusta National will announce a new record prize money payout. Since 2019, the Masters payout has been $11.5 million, with the winner earning $2.07 million.

The club tends to release the prize money payout breakdown after the cut is made, so we’ll likely have to wait a few more days). Currently, the Masters trails the U.S. Open ($12.5 million overall purse) and the PGA Championship ($12 million) in terms of men’s majors with the largest purses. (The Open Championship also paid $11.5 million in 2021.) All the majors are currently dwarfed by the Players Championship, which paid out $20 million in March with winner Cameron Smith earning $3.6 million.

tiger-woods-2019-masters-trophy-green-jacket.jpg

Tiger Woods claimed Masters win No. 5 in 2019.

Andrew Redington

With Woods making his comeback this week, and with his celebrated Masters career, it is interesting to track how much the five-time green jacket winner 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
2020: T-38, $50,600

Woods is, not surprisingly, the all-time career money leader in Masters history with earned $9.55 million, followed by Phil Mickelson ($8.18 million) and Jordan Spieth ($5.26 million).

Here’s a look at the top 20 on the Masters career money list along with some notable past champions and where they shake out:

Masters career money leaders
1: Tiger Woods $9,556,069 (27 starts)
2: Phil Mickelson $8,187,117 (29)
3: Jordan Spieth $5,261,828 (8)
4: Dustin Johnson $4,256,475 (12)
5: Justin Rose $4,123,265 (16)
6: Bubba Watson $4,048,230 (13)
7: Adam Scott $3,737,207 (20)
8: Angel Cabrera $3,547,257 (22)
9: Hideki Matsuyama $3,462,534 (10)
10: Lee Westwood $3,460,930 (20)
11: Sergio Garcia $3,298,530 (23)
12: Patrick Reed $2,808,288 (8)
13: Fred Couples $2,803,036 (37)
14: Jose Maria Olazabal $2,619,741 (33)
15: Vijay Singh $2,613,118 (28)
16: Charl Schwartzel $2,561,201 (12)
17: Rory McIlroy $2,537,521 (13)
18: Ernie Els $2,533,343 (23)
19: Rickie Fowler $2,480,050 (10)
20: Jason Day $2,314,848 (11)

Other Notables
Jack Nicklaus, $748,359
Gary Player, $239,552
Arnold Palmer, $139,163.33
Sam Snead, $50,881.25
Ben Hogan, $32,735
Byron Nelson, $15,686.99
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
2020: $2,070,000
2021: $2,070,000

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