The launch of LIV Golf has sent shock waves through professional golf. For decades, the PGA has dominated as the top tournament series for the pros because it offered the biggest purses in golf and had television deals that allowed pros to become household names. From the start, LIV Golf promised to pay the largest purse in golf, attracting the attention of some pros.
As more golfers are signing with LIV Golf to get a chance to vie for what is now the highest golf purse, the PGA has decided to increase the payouts for many of its tournaments. In this post, we'll break down the biggest PGA purse changes and answer the question "what is the biggest purse in golf?"
8 PGA Tour Events with Purse Increases
In 2023, eight major tour events will have significantly higher purses than last year. They include:
- Sentry Tournament of Champions: This annual event held at the Plantation Course at Kapalua Resort in Kapalua, HI, will be held from January 4 to January 8, 2023. When Cameron Smith won in 2022, he walked away with $1.476 million from a purse of $8.2 million. In 2023, the purse value rises to $15 million, an 83% increase over 2022. The top golfer will take home $2.7 million.
- The Genesis Invitational: Held since 1926, this tournament takes place at the Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, CA. In 2022, Joaquin Niemann won the event and took home $2.16 million from a total purse of $12 million. The 2023 event will be held February 16 to 19 and award a total purse of $20 million, a 66% increase over the 2022 prize pool.
- Arnold Palmer Invitational: The Arnold Palmer Invitational is held at Bay Hill Club and Lodge in Bay Hill, FL, every year. In 2022, Scottie Scheffler took home the biggest share of the $12 million purse, receiving a payout of $2.16 million. Like the Genesis Invitational, this tournament's purse will be two-thirds larger in 2023 with prize money totaling $20 million. The event will be held from March 2 to 5, 2023.
- THE PLAYERS Championship: Historically, THE PLAYERS Championship held at TPC at Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, has the highest PGA purse. When Cameron Smith won in 2022, the total purse was $20 million. Smith received $3.6 million of that money. The 2023 event will take place March 9 to 12 and will pay 25% more with a total purse of $25 million. Additional prize money will be awarded from a bonus pool.
- WGC – Dell Technologies Match Play: Hosted by the Austin Country Club in Austin, TX, this tournament was added to the PGA season in 1999. In 2022, the tournament had a $12 million purse, and the winner, Scottie Scheffler, received $2.16 million. Slated for March 23 to 27, the 2023 event will pay out a total of $20 million.
- Memorial Tournament: In 1976, Jack Nicklaus founded this golf event held at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, OH. The 2022 purse was $12 million, and winner Billy Horschel received $2.16 million. For 2023, the purse has been raised to $20 million. The event is scheduled for June 1 to 4.
- FedEx St. Jude Championship: The FEDEX St. Jude Championship is played at TPC Southwind in Memphis, TN every year. In 2023, the tournament will take place from August 10 to 13 and will award a total purse of $20 million. That's a 33% increase over 2022's total prize money of $15 million.
- BMW Championship: A newer tournament, the BMW Championship debuted in 2007. The event takes place at Wilmington Country Club in Wilmington, Delaware. When Patrick Cantlay won in 2022, the total purse was $15 million. For the 2023 tournament scheduled for August 17 to 20, the prize pool has grown by a third to a purse of $20 million.
What Golf Tournament Has the Biggest Purse?
The PGA can no longer claim the biggest purse in golf. This past October, LIV Golf broke records by awarding a $50 million purse for its October event held at the Trump National Doral Golf Club held October 27 to 30. The winning four-person team won a $16 million prize. Second place split $10 million and third place received a share of $8 million. Even the fourth-place team received $4 million, equaling a $1 million payday for each of the four players.
LIV Golf has yet to reveal its full schedule for 2023, but it has announced that it will award a total of $405 million. While that may seem like much less than the total prize money awarded by the PGA over the course of its series, remember that LIV Golf has fewer events. In 2023, it will host only 14 tournaments compared to 47 for the PGA.
So just how is LIV Golf able to pay out so much? The answer comes from its ownership. Funding for the tournament series comes from Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund, tied to the royal family. Its connections to the monarchy have made LIV Golf controversial with some players saying they won't participate due to the ownership.
Golf Fashion Is Changing, Too
LIV Golf may be controversial, but its impact on professional golf can't be denied. Its arrival has heralded an era where the pros can earn much more and the biggest golf purse isn't awarded by the PGA. And while professional players are earning millions, what it means to look like a million bucks on the course is changing for all golfers. As younger people discover the sport, the style of dress is becoming more casual and less conservative.
Today's golfers want to wear apparel that can transition effortlessly to the street but still enhance their performance on the course. At Devereux, we design golf clothes and accessories that fit that description perfectly. Our designs reflect style trends but are designed with comfort and range of motion in mind to give you the best of both worlds. Shop our new arrivals to discover our latest creations.