When Jack Nicklaus won the inaugural PLAYERS Championship in 1974, he was rewarded with a cheque for $50,000 out of a prize fund of $250,000.
This year’s champion will make 54 TIMES that amount, taking home a cool $2.7m from a record purse of $15m.
The prize fund for the 47th edition of the event, taking place at TPC Sawgrass this week, has increased by $2.5m from last year, making it the largest purse in golf.
The top three finishers will each pocket more than $1m, with the winner’s cheque being good enough for a place just outside the top-400 on the PGA Tour career money list – more than the career earnings of Open champions Ian Baker-Finch and Tom Weiskopf.
Not surprisingly, the players are delighted by the latest increase in prize money.
“It feels like it keeps going up and up and up,” said 2016 champion Jason Day. “That's great. I'm not complaining.”
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Xander Schauffele added: “It's our flagship event. It needs to counterbalance the major championships, and it's putting a nice incentive out there. I’m not upset by it.”
The PLAYERS only put up a seven-figure prize fund for the first time in 1987, when Scotland’s Sandy Lyle took the title (and a cheque for $180,000).
Hal Sutton was the first player to take home a seven-figure sum for winning the tournament, banking $1,080,000 after pipping Tiger Woods to the title in 2000.
Martin Kaymer’s victory in 2014 was noteworthy for being the first time that the tournament offered up an eight-figure prize purse.