Jim Furyk won the astonishing total of $11 million by winning the Tour Championship and wrapping up the FedEx Cup title over the weekend.
That’s a huge payout, and I got an interesting perspective on it while listening to ESPN Radio briefly on my way to work this morning. A sidekick was asking the host (I thought it was Colin Cowherd, but I can’t pin it down from his show summary) to compare Furyk’s paycheck with the career PGA earnings of some of the game’s greatest golfers.
Tom Watson, one of the premier names of late 20th century golf who has continued to make noise sporadically in recent years, earned $10.8 million. You’ll find Watson ranked 92 on an ESPN-compiled list of the top 20 PGA money-winners.
Who won’t you find? Jack Nicklaus — the greatest of all so far. He earned $5.7 million, according to his website.
Neither Nicklaus nor Watson is anywhere near the poverty line, of course, and they piled up millions in endorsements and, in the Golden Bear’s case, golf equipment and other enterprises.
While the game has stayed pretty much the same, the money sponsors pour into it has not.