The FedEx Cup Playoffs get underway this week, which, as well as being the climax to the PGA Tour season, is also a great opportunity for the game’s top players to fill their wallets.
You see, in addition to the hefty prize funds for the four tournaments that comprise the Playoffs – each one has a $9m purse – there is also $35m worth of bonuses. That kitty gets shared amongst the top 125 players on the standings upon the completion of the final event, the Tour Championship.
A whopping $10m goes to the player who tops the FedEx Cup standings, with $3m for the runner-up, $2m for the player in third and so on.
Even if you have a miserable season and finish in 150th position on the standings, you’ll still pocket a $32,000 bonus.
The FedEx Cup Playoffs were introduced in 2007 and, since then, some golfers have done particularly well out of the bonus system.
Tiger Woods, above, leads the ‘career bonus money’ rankings. He has raked in $25,275,000 in bonuses alone. Even more impressively, he made all that in six years, having not qualified for any bonus cash in the last four seasons. Incidentally, the money Tiger has made in FedEx Cup bonuses is more than all but 45 players have made in official career earnings on the PGA Tour.
Rory McIlroy has made the next biggest amount, raking in $15,625,000, just $400,000 more than third placed Jim Furyk. The US Ryder Cup captain coined a bonus every year until last year.
The top career bonus money leaders have raked in a combined $140,262,500 – that’s approximately $2.13 for everybody living in the UK.
The case of Bill Haas, above, is particularly interesting. The FedEx Cup winner in 2011, has made almost as much money in bonuses from the Playoffs ($11,474,500) as his dad, nine-time PGA Tour winner Jay Haas, made in 798 PGA Tour appearances across 36 seasons ($14,440,317).
So, yeah - no wonder everybody wants to play on the PGA Tour.