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2016 Players Championship: Richest payout and purse in golf up for grabs on Sunday

The biggest events in golf have been in an arms race in recent years, bumping their purses to eight figures. But the PGA Tour will always ensure it's marquee event at TPC Sawgrass keeps having the deepest purse in the game.

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Every year during Players Championship week, there's an endless debate on what constitutes a major championship in golf and whether the PGA Tour's marquee event should be tacked on as a "fifth major." It's a tradition now. The Players will probably never be considered a major but if one of the main criteria for defining one was purse size, well, it would be the most prestigious event in the game.

One way the PGA Tour and The Players have always tried to wedge this event in at the adult table is by offering the largest pot of prize money in the game. It's always boasted the biggest purse in golf, but in recent years, the other majors have joined the party and pushed theirs to eight figures too. The whole recent arms race started in the fall of 2013, when the PGA Tour and the PGA of America made a joint announcement that they were pushing their purses to $10 million. It was a major bump and one done jointly, with The Players and PGA Championship passing the other three majors to become the biggest cash game in the world. The Players had already been there, but now they were working in concert with the PGA of America.

Since that announcement, the other majors made their moves to get to $10 million and now this year The Players has reacted with a $500,000 bump to $10.5 million. That 2013 announcement was done with Ted Bishop, and well, he's long gone from the PGA of America so we'll see if the PGA Championship bumps its purse as well this summer. The Masters stayed at $10 million back in April.

The normal purse on the PGA Tour usually ranges from the low $6 millions to the low $7 millions but it varies based on the venue, title sponsor, and time of year. It's crowded at the top, however, with the majors and the PGA Tour pouring a ton of money into The Players and the WGC events. The latest numbers from some of the biggest events in golf:

  • $10.5M -- The Players
  • $10M -- The Masters (2016), U.S. Open (2015), British Open (2015), PGA Championship (2015)
  • $9.5M -- World Golf Championship events

We'll see if the final three majors of the year react at all to this incremental bump at TPC Sawgrass, or stay at $10 million for another year. One thing is clear -- this arms race will continue and we're going to have a winner that takes home $2 million some day, and probably soon. This year's champion is juuuuust shy of earning a $1.9 million payout, and the second place finisher (barring no ties) still gets seven figures. Not bad work at TPC Sawgrass, even if the greens have brutalized the best in the world this week.

Here are the payout totals for this year's Players (amounts will obviously be impacted by ties and we'll update when final totals come in):

Update: Jason Day doesn't need the money, at all, but now he's got the richest winner's check in golf. The final payout totals from TPC Sawgrass:

Place Player Score Payout
1 Jason Day -15 $1,890,000
2 Kevin Chappell -11 $1,134,000
T3 Justin Thomas -10 $504,000
T3 Matt Kuchar -10 $504,000
T3 Colt Knost -10 $504,000
T3 Ken Duke -10 $504,000
T7 Francesco Molinari -9 $338,625
T7 Hideki Matsuyama -9 $338,625
T9 Graeme McDowell -8 $283,500
T9 Daniel Berger -8 $283,500
T9 Alex Cejka -8 $283,500
T12 Adam Scott -7 $212,625
T12 Rory McIlroy -7 $212,625
T12 Bryce Molder -7 $212,625
T12 Retief Goosen -7 $212,625
T16 Boo Weekley -6 $168,000
T16 Shane Lowry -6 $168,000
T16 Cameron Tringale -6 $168,000
T19 Justin Rose -5 $131,775
T19 Russell Knox -5 $131,775
T19 Jerry Kelly -5 $131,775
T19 Jonas Blixt -5 $131,775
T23 Paul Casey -4 $93,450
T23 Scott Piercy -4 $93,450
T23 Ryan Palmer -4 $93,450
T23 Daniel Summerhays -4 $93,450
T23 Si Woo Kim -4 $93,450
T28 Dustin Johnson -3 $68,325
T28 David Hearn -3 $68,325
T28 Vijay Singh -3 $68,325
T28 Billy Horschel -3 $68,325
T28 J.J. Henry -3 $68,325
T28 Louis Oosthuizen -3 $68,325
T28 Gary Woodland -3 $68,325
T35 Jim Furyk -2 $52,894
T35 Keegan Bradley -2 $52,894
T35 Brooks Koepka -2 $52,894
T35 Danny Lee -2 $52,894
T39 Jon Curran -1 $44,100
T39 Chad Campbell -1 $44,100
T39 Martin Kaymer -1 $44,100
T39 Adam Hadwin -1 $44,100
T43 James Hahn E $33,670
T43 Soren Kjeldsen E $33,670
T43 Bill Haas E $33,670
T43 K.J. Choi E $33,670
T43 Bubba Watson E $33,670
T43 William McGirt E $33,670
T49 Morgan Hoffmann 1 $25,914
T49 Freddie Jacobson 1 $25,914
T49 Jason Dufner 1 $25,914
T49 Bernd Wiesberger 1 $25,914
T49 Zac Blair 1 $25,914
T54 Zach Johnson 2 $24,150
T54 Brian Harman 2 $24,150
T54 Sergio Garcia 2 $24,150
T57 Branden Grace 3 $23,100
T57 Jhonattan Vegas 3 $23,100
T57 Harold Varner, III 3 $23,100
T57 Ian Poulter 3 $23,100
T57 Hudson Swafford 3 $23,100
T57 Brendan Steele 3 $23,100
T57 Brendon de Jonge 3 $23,100
T64 Jamie Lovemark 4 $21,735
T64 Johnson Wagner 4 $21,735
T64 Marc Leishman 4 $21,735
T64 Kyle Reifers 4 $21,735
T64 Ernie Els 4 $21,735
T64 Sean O'Hair 4 $21,735
70 Camilo Villegas 5 $21,000
71 Steve Wheatcroft 6 $20,790
T72 Shawn Stefani 7 $20,475
T72 Will Wilcox 7 $20,475
T74 Kevin Streelman 8 $20,055
T74 Fabian Gomez 8 $20,055
76 Patton Kizzire 12 $19,740

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