Moneyball – cash machine McIlroy and Bezuidenhout’s bonus

Mark McGowan

Rory McIlroy (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Mark McGowan

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Rory McIlroy’s fourth Dubai Desert Classic victory saw the world number two add a further $1.53 million to his ever-growing fortune and catapults him into pole position in the Race to Dubai rankings once again.

Since the $9 million purse and first-place cut was the same as last year, he’s now earned over $3 million for his last two appearances in the Dubai Desert Classic.

Runner-up Adrian Meronk took home $990,000, while Cameron Young’s solo-third place earned him $567,000, so it will be interesting to see if caddie for the week Paul McBride received a nice bonus or if young is cut from similar cloth to Matt Kuchar.


Tom McKibbin’s tie for 14th was worth $135,000, but he’ll still not be shelling out for the post-round drinks for the Holywood contingent who’d travelled to the Middle East. “Put those on Rory’s tab.”

Over on the PGA Tour, Nick Dunlap became the first amateur to win a Tour event since Phil Mickelson back in 1991, and, similar to when Shane Lowry won the Irish Open back in 2009, he won’t get a penny for his troubles. Instead, second-placed Christian Bezuidenhout takes the $1.5 million top prize, with Kevin Yu, Xander Schauffele and Justin Thomas each earning cheques for $635,600 for finishing tied for third.

Sam Burns’ visits to the water on 17 and 18 not only cost him the opportunity for a sixth PGA Tour win, but $1.2 million in prizemoney as well as he had to settle for $310,800 instead of the $1.5 million he’d have been virtually guaranteed had he found dry land, even if he’d gone on to lose to Dunlap in a playoff.

Lydia Ko didn’t win at all on the LPGA circuit in 2023, though she did get an LET victory at the Aramco Saudi Ladies International and at the mixed Grant Thornton Invitational, but she’s hit the ground running in 2024 and earned $225,000 for her victory at the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions.

Leona Maguire’s closing four-under 68 saw her climb eight spots on the leaderboard and earned her a cheque for $28,932 in a four-way tie for 12th.

Selected payouts from the Hero Dubai Desert Classic

Position Player Score Earnings
1 Rory McIlroy -14 $1,530,000
2 Adrian Meronk -13 $990,000
3 Cameron Young -12 $567,000
T14 Tom McKibbin -6 $135,000

Selected payouts from the American Express Championship

Position Player Score Earnings
1 Nick Dunlap (a) -29 $0
2 Christiaan Bezuidenhout -28 $1,512,000
T3 Kevin Yu -27 $635,600
T3 Xander Schauffele -27 $635,600
T3 Justin Thomas -27 $635,600
T6 Sam Burns -25 $310,800
T6 Michael Kim -25 $310,800
T6 Adam Hadwin -25 $310,800
T9 Keith Mitchell -24 $254,100
T9 Ben Griffin -24 $254,100

Selected payouts from the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions

Position Player Score Earnings
1 Lydia Ko -14 $225,000
2 Alexa Pano -12 $165,659
3 Brooke Henderson -10 $120,174
T12 Leona Maguire -4 $28,932

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