2024 PGA Tour Prize Money Preview: PGA Players set to earn record-breaking amounts
2024 looks set to be a defining year for the PGA leaderboard today payout. Not only is the Tour still reeling from the after-effects of Jon Rahm’s $600 million move to the LIV Tour, but crucial merger talks between the PGA and LIV have been extended through until Masters weeks. With the future of professional golf still looking murky, no immediate breakthrough seems in sight.
In an increased effort for the PGA leaderboard today payout to keep hold of their best players, 2024 will be the first year where eight ‘Signature Events’ will be up for grabs. Each of these tournaments will hold a staggering $20 million purse, with the winner of each of these tournaments netting a cool 4 million dollars.
So what are these new events, and how do they tie in with what some of the top LIV stars can make?
2024 Signature Events – the breakdown
The major advantage that the PGA Tour has over the LIV Tour is its history.
Outside of the four majors, tournaments such as The Players Championship, The Memorial, Arnold Palmer Classic, and RBC Heritage have rightly been established as some of the most iconic tournaments that a player can win. With the PGA Tour looking to keep the spotlight on these tournaments bright, these iconic events have been chosen to help make up the bulk of the 2024 Signature Event calendar.
Taking place throughout the year, here is when these new Signature Events will take place:
- Sentry Tournament of Champions – January 4th – 7th
- AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am – February 1st – 4th
- Genesis Invitational – February 15th – 18th
- Arnold Palmer Invitational – March 7th – 10th
- RBC Heritage – April 18th – 21st
- Wells Fargo Championship – May 9th – 12th
- The Memorial Tournament – June 6th – 9th
- Travelers Championship – June 20th – June 23rd
Interestingly, in a further effort to appease the PGA Tour’s very best players, each of these tournaments will have limited fields, and only three will have cuts – the Genesis, the Memorial, and the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
Some detractors have criticized the PGA Tour’s recent moves for following LIV’s lead in effectively creating a closed shop where only the very best golfers can play and compete for these lucrative prizes. Golfing purists have also scoffed at the Tour’s decision to abolish cuts, with many questioning what the differences between the two competing tours are now.
But could the PGA Tour do anything else?
2024 Signature Events – will it be enough to stave off the LIV threat?
Despite LIV still struggling to appeal to both viewers and sponsors, the threat that LIV possesses to the PGA Tour still looms large.
Last year’s LIV money winner, Talor Gooch, banked an astonishing $35 million courtesy of his three tournament victories and an $18 million bonus for finishing as the year’s money leader.
Gooch’s eye-watering total matched that of the 2023 FedEx Champion Viktor Hovland, who set a new record for prize money at $34 million. Since Gooch signed up for the breakaway tour, it’s estimated that he has won just under $50 million.
Despite the prize money totals being similar, Gooch amassed his fortune playing a total of 14 events, whereas Hovland teed it up a total of 23 times.
As well as having the ability to earn more while playing far less, scarily for the PGA elites, lesser-known LIV players such as Richard Bland, Sebastian Munoz, and Marc Leishman have all made roughly $10 million since joining the breakaway tour – blowing the majority of PGA players out of the water when it comes to yearly earnings.
To stop a cavalcade of their best players leaving, the PGA leaderboard today payout had to offer some sort of new incentive, so it isn’t surprising that following the LIV model seemed the best way to go.
As well as the new opportunity to try and win huge swathes of cash, each of the PGA Tour’s new signature events will have a huge allocation of FedEx points on the line. This should mean that some of the very biggest names on the PGA championship 2023 payout, such as Rory McIlroy, Viktor Hovland, Jordan Spieth, Max Homa, and Justin Thomas, should be able to secure their spots in the lucrative season-ending playoffs for much less effort than previous years.
With huge money on offer for those finishing towards the top of PGA leaderboards throughout the season, it’s hard to see why any PGA player would feel the need to up and leave.
How will these new signature events impact the majors and the 2024 PGA Championship Prize Money?
With the best players on the PGA and LIV Tours still being separated, the four majors will still be the only opportunities where golf fans will be able to see the game’s very best players competing in the same events.
The majors are still regarded as the pinnacle of the game, but the rise of LIV and these new signature events have led many to believe that the lure of the game’s most illustrious prizes may start to wane.
Take the 2023 PGA Championship as a great example. Brooks Koepka’s $3.15 million payout for his PGA Championship victory was less than what he earned from winning one event on the LIV Tour. Considering the test of both skill and temperament that is needed to win a major, many believe that it should be the majors that boast the biggest prize pots.
In this new modern world of huge prize pools being up for grabs on an almost weekly basis, the PGA Championship 2023 payout may not be viewed as enough. To keep their status high, there will be pressure on all four majors to provide prize money, befitting of their status within the game. It will be fascinating to see how it plays out for the new season.
February 6, 2024