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Masters purse: The evolution of Masters winners’ payouts through the years

April 12, 2020

If you win the Masters, you get rewarded — and paid — handsomely. Tiger Woods won the first-ever Masters that paid the winner more than $2 million in 2019, and he’s also the tournament’s all-time leader in money won, with $9,505,469. (Second on that list is Phil Mickelson, at $8,040,837.)

But it wasn’t always this way. The first Masters in 1934 paid out $1,500 to Horton Smith, and that same sum was given to every winner up until 1943-45, when three straight Masters were canceled due to World War II.

When the Masters resumed in 1946, Herman Keiser won $2,500. Other payout milestones came in 1958, when Arnold Palmer won $11,250, which was the first time the winner’s share eclipsed $10,000. In 1961 Gary Player took home $20,000 for winning, which was the first of nine straight years of a $20,000 check for the winner.

The winner’s share hit $50,000 for the first time in 1979 with Fuzzy Zoeller’s victory, and Ben Crenshaw grabbed the first six-figure paycheck in 1984, winning $108,000.


The money kept growing from there. Nick Faldo won $200,000 in 1989, Bernhard Langer grabbed $306,000 in 1993, Faldo took home $450,000 in 1996, and Mark O’Meara won the first half-million check in 1998, claiming $576,000. The next two big payout milestones came with Woods cashing in. He received the first million-dollar check (1.008 million) in 2001 and then earned the first multi-million-dollar check (2.07 million) in 2019.

Check out the complete history of payouts to Masters winners below.

Masters winner payouts through the years

1934: $1,500
1935: $1,500
1936: $1,500
1937: $1,500
1938: $1,500
1939: $1,500
1940: $1,500
1941: $1,500
1942: $1,500
1943: No Masters (WWII)
1944: No Masters (WWII)
1945: No Masters (WWII)
1946: $2,500
1947: $2,500
1948: $2,500
1949: $2,750
1950: $2,400
1951: $3,000
1952: $4,000
1953: $4,000
1954: $5,000
1955: $5,000
1956: $6,000
1957: $8,750
1958: $11,250
1959: $15,000
1960: $17,500
1961: $20,000
1962: $20,000
1963: $20,000
1964: $20,000
1965: $20,000
1966: $20,000
1967: $20,000
1968: $20,000
1969: $20,000
1970: $25,000
1971: $25,000
1972: $25,000
1973: $30,000
1974: $35,000
1975: $40,000
1976: $40,000
1977: $40,000
1978: $45,000
1979: $50,000
1980: $55,000
1981: $60,000
1982: $64,000
1983: $90,000
1984: $108,000
1985: $126,000
1986: $144,000
1987: $162,000
1988: $183,800
1989: $200,000
1990: $225,000
1991: $243,000
1992: $270,000
1993: $306,000
1994: $360,000
1995: $396,000
1996: $450,000
1997: $486,000
1998: $576,000
1999: $720,000
2000: $828,000
2001: $1,008,000
2002: $1,008,000
2003: $1,080,000
2004: $1,117,000
2005: $1,260,000
2006: $1,260,000
2007: $1,305,000
2008: $1,350,000
2009: $1,350,000
2010: $1,350,000
2011: $1,440,000
2012: $1,440,000
2013: $1,440,000
2014: $1,620,000
2015: $1,800,000
2016: $1,800,000
2017: $1,980,000
2018: $1,980,000
2019: $2,070,000
2020: TBA

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