Martin Kaymer has been in the lead for three days at the U.S. Open and, barring a surprising final round collapse, will claim the second major championship victory of his career on Sunday. He'll also take home one of the largest paychecks of his life with the first-place prize projected to be $1.62 million.
Kaymer wins big
The 67 players remaining in the field are competing for part of the $9 million purse, up $1 million from last year. Whoever comes away with the win will take home the biggest prize, but more than a dozen players will walk away with a six-figure payout. Depending on how the final leaderboard shakes out, the top couple finishers could win at least $500,000. Last year, nine players won more than $250,000.
2014 U.S. Open
2014 U.S. Open
Now that the new 2014 purse is set at $9 million, expect those top finishers to see even more cash this year. The new payouts put the tournament in line with The Masters, which upped its purse to the same figure earlier this year.
For some, the U.S. Open payout could be the biggest of their careers. For others, it will just be another significant deposit in the bank account. Kaymer has won more than $6 million on the PGA Tour to go along with winnings of more than $20 million on the European Tour. If he wins at Pinehurst, the payout would be the second-largest of his PGA Tour career. He took home $1.8 million when he won the Players Championship earlier this year.
Rickie Fowler is also among the names near the top of the leaderboard. He finished in a tie for 10th at the U.S. Open last year, taking home $168,530. Depending on how he fares during the rest of his final round on Sunday, he could take home significantly more this year with the top six finishers projected to win at least $300,000.
Finishing second would leave any player thinking "what if," but that will be especially true if things are close. The runner-up loses some serious cash with a payout below $1 million, and that number could be even lower depending on ties and how the final leaderboard shakes out. If two players finish tied for second place, the second and third-place payouts are combined and averaged. With a crowded leaderboard, ties are highly likely and the final payouts won't be known until the final pairing completes its round.
For an idea of how much money is at stake, here is a look at the of 2013 U.S. Open top-10 payout. Justin Rose came away with the biggest prize.