Back in 2019, the PGA Tour raised the Players Championship purse to a record-breaking level that no tournament had ever reached: $12.5 million, with winner Rory McIlroy receiving $2.25 million. Just three years later, that sum is starting to look like chump change.
For the 2022 Players Championship, the purse has undergone another massive increase, the second bump since Rory’s victory in 2019. The field at this year’s event will compete for a whopping $20 million. That’s an enormous 60% increase from 2019.
But whoever ends up hoisting the trophy on Sunday at TPC Sawgrass will truly hit the jackpot. The winner’s check is worth $3.6 million, the first tournament ever to crack the $3 million mark.
Some historical context can provide perspective on just how big this year’s Players purse is. Just last year, the Players Championship purse was increased to $15 million, which was easily the biggest in history at that point.
Even the four major championships can’t compete with the Players in terms of purse size, barring huge increases of their own this year. In 2021, the U.S. Open had the biggest purse among the majors at $12.5 million. The PGA came in second at $12 million, with the Masters and the Open Championship knotted at $11.5 million.
The disparity in winner’s pay is just as big. Along with his green jacket, Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama took home $2.07 million last year, 43% less than the 2022 Players champ will receive.
So while there might not be as much prestige on the line at Sawgrass compared to the majors, there certainly is much more money up for grabs.