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How To Calculate Payout On The PGA Tour

Playing on the PGA Tour is more than just an incredible accomplishment – it can be very lucrative, as well. In 2015 for instance, Jordan Spieth led all PGA Tour golfers, walking away with $12,030,465 in total earnings (source: PGATour.com).
But Spieth isn’t the only player who walked away with a pretty penny; 102 players on the PGA Tour that season earned at least $1 million.

It may go without saying, but the monetary earnings players receive are based upon their performances in PGA Tour events. As one might expect, the better the player performs, the more money he earns.

If you’ve ever wondered how to calculate payout on the PGA Tour, just follow the steps below.

Step 1: Figure Out The Tournament’s Total Purse

Before each PGA Tour event takes place, the PGA will announce the total purse for the tournament. Each event offers its own total earnings, and you’ll need this information to calculate the payout.

Step 2: Match Players To Standings

Next, match the player’s final standing with the percentage of the purse assigned to the position.

The winner of the tournament is given 18 percent of the total purse, which is set by the PGA Tour. The following percentages are given to the remainder of the top 10 finishers: 10.8%, 6.8%, 4.8%, 4%, 3.6%, 3.34%, 3.1%, 2.9%, and 2.7%. As the standings decline, so do the percentages. The 70th place finisher receives 0.2% of the total purse. The players who didn’t make the cut receive no prize money.

Let’s use the 2016 Masters as our example. The total purse for the Masters was $10,000,000. To figure out the winner’s prize money, take the total purse and multiply it by 0.18, which is the percent of the total purse given to the winner ($10,000,000 x 0.18). The total earnings for the winner, Danny Willett, at the 2016 Masters was $1,800,000.

When there are more than 70 professional players that make the cut, each position from 71st place on down receives $100 less than the previous position. For example, if the total purse is $5 million and 73 pros make the cut, the 70th place golfer receives $10,000, the 71st receives $9,900, the 72nd receives $9,800, the 73rd receives $9,700, etc.

Step 3: Disregard The Amateurs

Be sure to pass over any amateurs when calculating the players’ earnings.

Amateurs occasionally compete in PGA Tour events but cannot accept any prize money, so they’re treated as if they don’t exist when the purse is divided. For example, if an amateur places 20th in a PGA Tour event, the 21st place golfer receives 20th-place money, and so on down the list.

Step 4: Add Up The Percentages

If there is a tie among players for a position, add up the percentages normally awarded for the positions and then divide it by the number of golfers who tied for that position.

For example, let’s once again take a look at the 2016 Masters. Both Jordan Spieth and Lee Westwood tied for second place. To figure out each of their total earnings, we must add up the given percentages for second and third place (10.8 + 6.8 = 17.6), then divide the sum of the added percentages by the total number of golfers who tied for the position (17.6 / 2 = 8.8). Based on this equation, each golfer was awarded 8.8 percent of the total purse, which comes out to be a total of $880,000 apiece.

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