50% of $15 million set aside to console Players Championship field

John Craven

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images for The Match)

As the rest of us scramble for scraps around Lidl and Aldi, enduring sleepless nights wondering when the next meal will come, at least we can close our eyes safe in the knowledge that PGA Tour professionals won’t be going hungry any time soon.

The gold trophy at this week’s Players Championship might not have found a new home this week but those vying for it have been handed plenty of consolation with 50% of the $15 million pot being divvied out to those who took part.

“I’m sure the question is coming but as it relates to this week, our regulations stipulate that if you complete one round of a championship, we pay 50 percent of the purse,” PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan confirmed following the news that the tournament had been cancelled.


“We almost completed one round of this championship, and we will pay 50 percent of the purse to our players equally distributed amongst our players.”

This week’s prize pot just so happens to be the largest in history so let’s all breathe a huge sigh of relief – at least two metres away from those around us – and rejoice that the best golfers in the world will take home the guts of 50gs for a pointless stroll around TPC Sawgrass on Thursday.

There’ll be those asking, could this money have been better spent? Some will say – absolutely not – that with no tournament golf upcoming, and considering even the Masters has put the azaleas away for the time being, that our players need to earn a living from somewhere and this kitty should tide them over in the interim.

Others though, more ruthless, will say that a field comprised of the world’s best golfers teeing up at the Tour’s showpiece have enough cash already. They’ll argue that the $7.5 million could’ve been used elsewhere, maybe to support decimated satellite tours where players and caddies fighting for very little already suddenly have even less.

But hey, it’s early days, right?

Perhaps the Tour will donate the other $7.5 million to those professionals and caddies in the game who actually need it and not the elite. Or if distributing wealth beyond the top table of golf isn’t their thing, they might choose to be charitable and hand over the full $15 million to I dunno, maybe a team of researchers striving each day to help find a cure for the virus that’s put paid to their 2020 schedule?

For what it’s worth, given the hysteria and uncertainty ripping through the world at the hands of COVID-19, I think the PGA Tour did the right thing. But I don’t want to start sounding all high and mighty like some suckers this week stuck at the back of a queue in Lidl with nothing more than a ply of bog roll so I’ll leave it at that.


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