Ever since the FedEx Cup came to being, we've drifted away from ranking players by how much money they earn in a PGA Tour season. It wasn't all that long ago that "the money list" is what ranked a player in terms of playing privileges on Tour and determined whether or not he might have to go back to Q-school. Now, in 2013, it's the FedEx Cup points list that determines how much you can play or what your Tour status is.
Gone are the days that the Top 125 on the Money list matters. After the FedEx Cup playoffs (that Henrik Stenson won), there was a fall series where players that were on or near the Top 125 FedEx Cup Points bubble were battling it out to retain their playing status or face going back to the dreaded 6 round Q-school where the top 25 would get a card to play on the big tour...that, of course, has changed, too.
If you are outside the top 125 now, you're going into the fall series playoff with the web . com guys to hopefully make enough money to qualify. If not, the web. com tour may just be waiting.
I'm sorry the money list isn't our "go to" stat anymore. I was curious as to what guys actually made last year - I know Tiger won 5 times, but I can't recalling anyone saying he also raked in a cool $8.55 million. Henrik Stenson, with 2 wins including the Tour Championship, was second with $6.3 million (not including is FedEx Cup windfall).
The next 4 on the list each had 2 wins this year...Matt Kuchar, Phil Mickelson, Brandt Snedeker and Adam Scott earned between $5.6 million to $4.8 million. The highest money earner without a win was none other than Steve Stricker, earning $4.44 million in just 13 events.
The lowest earner with a win was Woody Austin, who won the Sanderson Farms Championship worth $540,000, and then cashed in only 1 other event (of 8 total on the Tour) for another $28,800, with a total earnings of $568,800 for 2013.
Brendon deJonge played 30 events on the PGA Tour in 2013, the most for any Tour player, and took home $1.8 million. Rory McIlory only needed 16 events to earn $1.8 million. There were 33 players who won more than $2 million, and there was a total of 82 golfers who cashed in at least $1 million, with Brendan Steele at 82nd.
There were 8 players who got only 1 start on the PGA Tour in 2013, and the highest earner of that group was Bernard Langer, winning $56, 040 at the Masters. But don't feel too bad for Langer, he played in 24 events on the Champions Tour and took home over $2.4 million there, which included 23 top 25 finishes.
Besides Stricker, Keegan Bradley, Jason Day, Jim Furyk, Hunter Mahan, and Webb Simpson all finished in the top 20 in money earnings without posting a PGA Tour win in 2013.
It should probably be noted that Tiger Woods won his $8+ Million in only 16 events, where he made all of the cuts and had 8 top ten finishes (including the 5 wins). Woods' worst finish was a T65 (2) and his Player's Championship was his best payday winning $1.71 million that weekend.
I'm thinking back to Rory McIlory, in 2012 he was #1 on the PGA Tour money list earning just over $8 million in 16 events that included 4 wins. What a difference a year makes. Same number of events (16) and $6 million less in earnings. I think that's why his recent win in Australia has been dubbed a "comeback"...and just like Tiger, Rory is good for golf, so wins matter.
All this makes me start pondering my 2014 predictions. Who is going to shine starting in January? Will we have another $8 million man? Will the 2013 non-winners step up and get a W? And who is going to win the FedEx Cup?
The members of the PGA Tour duel with their golf clubs to make their living and more importantly to keep their status. We'll see what the 82 millionaires from the 2013 season will show us!
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