Moneyball – Power Knapp in Mexico

Mark McGowan

Jake Knapp (Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images)

Mark McGowan

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Former bouncer Jake Knapp will be hoping his cheque doesn’t do the same after securing a life-changing victory at the Mexico Open and the near $1.5 million first place prize that accompanied as the recent Korn Ferry graduate secured his playing rights for the next two seasons and an invite to Augusta National in six week’s time.

Padraig Harrington’s first PGA Tour start of 2024 yielded a tie for 52nd and almost $20,000 in earnings, and he gets back-to-back starts as he’s back in the field again this week as a past champion of the Honda Classic in the rebranded Cognizant Classic in Florida.

Finn Sami Valimaki’s consolation prize for coming second was $882,900, considerably his largest single-week earnings since turning pro back in 2019 and becoming a two-time DP World Tour winner.

Back on the Tour through which Valimaki earned his PGA Tour card, Darius Van Driel was also a first-time winner as the 34-year-old Dutchman, twice a Challenge Tour winner, won the Magical Kenya Open by two strokes from Spaniard Nacho Elvira and 29-year-old English rookie Joe Dean.

Van Driel took home just shy of €400,000, while Dean, who worked as a delivery driver for UK Supermarket chain Morrisons prior to playing his way through DP World Tour Q-School last November, had earned a total of €1,633 in four previous DP World Tour starts. But he made the most of his opportunity and in one week, takes home almost €200,000 more than his entire career earnings on the Tour.

On the LPGA circuit, Patty Tavatanakit, who won last week’s Saudi Ladies International and the near $700,000 first prize that accompanied it, made it two wins in as many starts as she followed up with a home victory at Siam Country Club in the Honda LPGA Thailand and added another $255,000, taking her fortnight’s earnings close to $1 million.

Leona Maguire simmered but never really boiled and her tie for 31st was worth $11,000 and change.

Meanwhile, on the European Challenge Tour, Jonathan Caldwell’s solo-fifth place finish in the weather shortened NMB Championship saw the Clandeboye man take home just shy of €10,000, while Dermot McElroy and Gary Hurley, the only other Irishmen to make cut, finished tied for 36th and earned just over €2,500 each.

PGA Tour Mexico Open prizemoney payouts

1 Jake Knapp                       $1,458,000
2 Sami Välimäki                   $882,900
T3 C.T. Pan                           $429,300
T3 Stephan Jaeger               $429,300
T3 Justin Lower                    $429,300
T6 Patrick Rodgers               $283,500
T6 Robert MacIntyre            $283,500
T8 Carson Young                  $220,725
T8 Doug Ghim                      $220,725
T8 Andrew Novak                 $220,725
T8 Erik van Rooyen               $220,725
T8 Chan Kim                         $220,725
T52 Padraig Harrington        $19,467

Magical Kenya Open Prizemoney payouts

1          Darius Van Driel      €392,570.38
T2        Joe Dean                  €199,749.04
T2        Nacho Elvira            €199,749.04
T4        Manuel Elvira           €98,065.62
T4        Matthew Jordan      €98,065.62
T4        Adrian Otaegui        €98,065.62

Honda LPGA Prizemoney payouts

1: Patty Tavatanakit                     $255,000
2: Albane Valenzuela                   $158,182
T-3: Sei Young Kim                      $101,759
T-3: Hye-Jin Choi                        $101,759
T-5: Natthakritta Vongtaveelap  $64,953
T-5: Hyo Joo Kim                        $64,953
T-7: Lilia Vu                                 $45,900
T-7: Emily Kristine Pedersen       $45,900:
T-9: Haeran Ryu                          $34,100
T-9: Jaravee Boonchant              $34,100
T-9: Brooke M. Henderson         $34,100
T-9: Madelene Sagstrom            $34,100
T-31: Leona Maguire                  $11,388


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