There can be a lot of money won playing professional tournament golf, especially on the PGA Tour and especially in the last two decades.
Prize money has exploded over the last several years on the circuit and with a new media-rights deal in place, look for the explosion of cash to continue.
Tiger Woods is on this list of most money earned in a single PGA tour season four times. Jordan Spieth shows up twice. And now there’s a new member of this top-10 list, your 2022 Masters champ Scottie Scheffler. He bumps Jason Day’s 2014-15 season to the No. 11 spot.
This list does not count bonus money nor does it account for money earned on the European Tour.
Jordan Spieth, 2016-17
Jordan Spieth at the 2017 Dell Technologies Championship at TPC Boston. (Photo: Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Jordan Spieth won three events in placing himself among golf’s elites once again. He holed out to win the Travelers Championship from the bunker. His final round at the Open Championship was memorable for his amazing save on 13 as it was for his victory. That was both his third major championship, and the third leg of the career Grand Slam.
Brooks Koepka, 2018-19
Brooks Koepka celebrates with the Wanamaker Trophy after winning the 2019 PGA Championship at Bethpage Black in Bethpage, New York. (Photo: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports)
Brooks Koepka won three PGA Tour events including a successful defense of his PGA Championship title. The former Florida State golfer also won the CJ Cup at Nine Bridges and the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational. Out of the 21 events he played, he missed the cut just once while piling up nine top-10 finishes.
Justin Thomas, 2016-17
Justin Thomas at the 2016 Quicken Loans National at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland. (Photo: Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Justin Thomas was named PGA Tour Player of the Year. He posted five victories, including the PGA Championship, and won the FedEx Cup at age 24. He also added a 12 top-10 finishes. He shot a 59 at the Sony Open to become the youngest player on the PGA Tour to break 60. He joined Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus and Jordan Spieth as the only players since 1960 to win five times in a season including a major since 1960.
Tiger Woods, 2006
Tiger Woods at 2016 the Hero World Challenge in Nassau, Bahamas. (Photo: Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Tiger Woods began his memorable run of winning six consecutive starts to end the year by capturing the Open Championship. In the final season before the PGA Tour reorganized under the FedEx Cup format, Woods dominated on nearly every front. He was the PGA Tour Player of the Year for the eighth time, money winner for the seventh time and won the Byron Nelson Award for the seventh time.
Scottie Scheffler, 2021-22
Scottie Scheffler on the 13th green during the third round of the 2022 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. (Photo: Danielle Parhizkaran-Augusta Chronicle/USA TODAY Sports)
After entering the 2022 calendar year without a PGA Tour win, the 25-year-old Texan has vaulted into this list thanks to four victories in his last six starts, each win more impressive than the first. Scheffler finally broke through to victory lane in February at the WM Phoenix Open. He followed that up with a win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Then came his first WGC win at the Dell Technologies Match Play. Now he’s a major champ, having won at Augusta National Golf Club to earn the green jacket. There’s an asterisk next to this number because Scheffler has a lot of golf left this season.
Tiger Woods, 2008-09
Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus pose with the Memorial Trophy after Woods won the 2009 Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club. (Photo: Andrew Weber/USA TODAY Sports)
After missing the final half of the previous season due to knee surgery, Tiger Woods returned to golf and showed flashes of his old self but did not win a major for the first time since 2004, famously coming up short when he was caught and passed by YE Yang in the final round of the PGA Championship.
Tiger Woods, 2005
Tiger Woods celebrates after making a remarkable chip shot on the 16th hole during the 2005 Masters. (Photo: Elise Amendola/Associated Press)
In addition to winning more than $10 million and his fourth green jacket, Tiger Woods delivered the most memorable shot of his career and perhaps in all of 21st-century golf Sunday at Augusta. His chilling chip on 16 eventually morphed into a Nike commercial. Overall, Woods won six times on the PGA Tour in 2005.
Tiger Woods, 2006-07
Tiger Woods eyes putt during the final round of the 2007 BMW Championship at Cog Hill Golf and Country Club in Lemont, Illinois. (Photo: S. Greenwood/Getty Images)
Riding the momentum and a (sort-of) winning streak from 2006, Tiger Woods continued to dominate on the PGA Tour during the first of his many comebacks. Woods won the Buick Invitational for the seventh time – and extended his PGA Tour-events-started winning streak to seven. The streak ended in February when Woods lost in the Round of 16 at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. Woods ended the year by claiming the inaugural FedEx Cup, winning the final two events of the playoffs. The BMW Championship was his 60th career PGA Tour victory. He dominated in the Tour Championship, winning by eight shots with a 23-under 257 (64-63-64-66). That remains the lowest 72-hole score of his career.
Vijay Singh, 2004
Vijay Singh celebrates during the greenside ceremony after winning the 86th PGA Championship at Whistling Straits in Haven, Wisconsin, on Sunday, Aug.15, 2004. (Photo: Associated Press)
At age 41, Vijay Singh was as good as ever on the PGA Tour in 2004, winning the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits and eight other Tour events. His overall finishes were equally impressive: he made 28-of-29 cuts, posted 18 top-10s and 24 top-25s. He also won PGA Tour Player of the Year honors.
Jordan Spieth, 2014-15
Jordan Spieth poses for a photo with the trophy after winning the 2015 US Open at Chambers Bay in University Place, Washington. (Photo: John David Mercer/USA TODAY Sports)
At the age of 22, Jordan Spieth was the reigning US Open and Masters champion when he won the FedEx Cup and its $10 million bonus. He became the youngest Tour Player of the Year since Tiger Woods in 1997. In addition to those two majors won during the 2014-15 season, Spieth also captured the Valspar in March, the John Deere Classic in July and the Tour Championship to complete a memorable season on multiple fronts.