There's no better deal in golf than playing the World Golf Championships. Only the four majors and The Players have bigger purses, and those events don't hand out guaranteed checks just for showing up.
At the WGCs, however, the field is limited and there's no cut, meaning you can mail it in from your very first tee ball on Thursday and still take home more than $45,000. That exact thing happened this week, when Steven Bowditch posted four rounds in the 80s to finish 37-over and in dead last by a good 14 shots. According to Golf Channel research ace Justin Ray, no player has ever posted four rounds in the 80s in the last 30 years on Tour. The no-cut setup of this event helps, but there are other WGCs besides this one and also no cuts at a few other events throughout the year. For his historic efforts, Bowditch will still cash $48 for his 65th-place finish, which is not bad work if you can find it.
Interesting to remember a quote from Bowditch in 2014, saying that he loved WGC events because you got paid no matter what.— Shane Ryan (@ShaneRyanHere) March 5, 2016
Maybe we should have seen this mail-in coming?
Bowditch should just walk in tomorrow and yell PUT THE MONEY IN THE BAG with a ski mask on and collect his 47k pic.twitter.com/gDPTgBx9Go— No Laying Up (@NoLayingUp) March 5, 2016
Bowditch at least gets to keep his last-place cash. A couple other players who qualified but could not play will have to donate their checks to charity.
Sangmoon Bae started two years of mandatory military service in South Korea back in October after the Presidents Cup. But Bae had done enough work over the past year to not tumble too far down the world rankings these last few months so he technically still had a spot in the field. Of course, he's otherwise engaged and his $47,000, still technically earned by him, will be donated. Jim Furyk gets the same deal because he's qualified but has a medical injury reason for not playing.
So those are the some of the wonderful benefits of playing horribly, or not at all, at a WGC. At the top, it's obviously a monster payout. This is the rare event where even the second-place finisher makes seven figures. The WGC purses were already enormous but then the PGA Tour went ahead and bumped them up another $500,000 this year.
The total purse is $9.5 million at this WGC-Cadillac Championship and the winner will get $1.62 million. The four majors and The Players all pay their winner about $1.8 million of a $10 million purse, an arms race that The Players and PGA Championship started two years ago. We'll see if any of those marquee tournaments make a move this year and escalate things above that $10M mark.
Rory McIlroy started the day in control but he's lost that 3-shot cushion he enjoyed. Even though this is one of the most lucrative tournaments in the game, McIlroy cares more about putting a win up on the board before the Masters. He's got $45,430,817 in career earnings and obviously much, much more in off-course earnings. He said at last year's TOUR Championship that the $10 million FedExCup prize, the biggest windfall in the game, was an "amount of money doesn't sort of mean much to me anymore."
Here's the full payout breakdown -- totals will change with ties and we'll update when the scores are final.
UPDATE: Adam Scott is your winner, going back-to-back on the PGA Tour and now passing the $50 million mark for career earnings.
|T11||Rafael Cabrera Bello||-3||$145,000|