So you wanna be a PGA Tour star, huh? We don't blame you. And what's going to happen this week, probably won't change your mind.
The last-place finisher at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational will take home at least $50,000. That's right, 50 Gs for simply qualifying and showing up at Firestone CC. Not. Bad.
To put this in perspective, that's the same amount Arnold Palmer pocketed for winning the 1971 Westchester Classic -- the biggest check of his PGA Tour career! Thanks to Golf Channel's Will Gray for crunching the numbers:
Yeah, we'd be laughing too.
The reason the payout is so high comes in part because of a jam-packed summer schedule. With the golf returning to the Olympics in August, two of the summer's biggest events, the PGA Championship and the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, were forced to move up in the calendar. The European Tour was unhappy with the WGC event's placement on the schedule -- the same week as the 100th playing of the French Open -- and declared its players could only earn Ryder Cup points by playing in France. As a result, the 61-player field in Akron is on the small side meaning fewer players (Rory McIlroy, for instance, is one of 10 Euro Tour pros playing in the French Open instead) will be splitting up a $9.5 million purse (up from $9.25 million last year).
Not that generous payouts are anything new for the limited-field, no cut event. Last year, Troy Merritt earned $40,750 for finishing in 77th place (out of 77), 33 shots behind winner Shane Lowry.
Of course, if you win, you make a lot more -- $1.62 million to be exact. Keep practicing, everyone.