Ten years ago, prize money on the Tour—including the four major championships—averaged $1.4 million per event. Today, the average is $5.25 million and rising. The way the purse breaks down, approximately $1 million of that $5.25 million goes to the winner.
This is true whether Tiger shows up or doesn’t—which he didn’t at this year’s Honda, the last event of the Tour’s two-week swing through South Florida. He won the first South Florida event, the Ford Championship at Doral, last week, earning $990,000.
Shain credits the incredible popularity of Tiger Woods with the increase, but also writes of the sponsors’ very high level of satisfaction with the Tour in general:
In a 2003 Sports Business Journal survey of sponsor satisfaction, the PGA Tour ranked at the top of the list, ahead of both NASCAR and the NFL.
‘‘Corporate America is behind our sport and we have a good TV product,’’ said Stewart Cink, a two-time winner last year. “Even with those kinds of purses, it makes business sense.’‘