Kevin Na couldn’t quite track down Bubba Watson during the final round of the 2018 Genesis Open, but his T-2 was his best US PGA Tour finish in more than two years and his ninth career runner-up. More impressively – and perhaps, surprisingly – the $US663,600 cheque Na took home from Riviera pushed him past the $25 million mark in lifetime US PGA Tour earnings. Not too shabby for someone with one career win. Yep, that’s one win and more than $25 million in on-course earnings. Talk about getting a lot of bang for your buck. Or, buck for your bang, in this case.
It got us thinking if there are other names on the US PGA Tour career earnings list who would cause a similar reaction – and of course, the answer was yes. In an age where the average win reaps well more than a $1 million payday, there are plenty of tour pros – from stars to journeymen – who have amassed small fortunes playing golf (Thanks, Tiger). Here are some of the most surprising, not in order of how unexpected their totals are, but how much they’ve made.
Matt Kuchar ($US42,402,743): Kuch has long held the reputation as a human ATM, but more than $42 MILLION for someone with seven US PGA Tour titles?! That’s a lot of big trips to the bank. Also, at No.13 on the career money list, he’s the highest-ranked player without a Major championship.
Luke Donald ($US35,930,932): Similar to Kuchar, Donald has enjoyed a great career that has included multiple Ryder Cup appearances, and unlike Kuchar, a stint at No.1 in the Official World Golf Ranking. However, considering the last of his five US PGA Tour titles came nearly six years ago, the Brit still landing at 18th on the career money list – the only golfer other than Kuchar to crack the top 20 despite never winning a Major – was a bit of an eye-opener. Not as much as the rest of these names, though …
Charles Howell III ($US34,379,173): Chucky Three Sticks has been stuck on two US PGA Tour wins for more than a decade, but that hasn’t kept him from raking in cash at a feverish pace. Since that last win at Riviera in 2007, he’s made more than $20 million. Pretty good for someone who has only played in five Majors in the past five seasons.
Rory Sabbatini ($US30,430,256): Thirty MILLION buys a lot of those silly cowboy hats.
Jerry Kelly (US$28,962,248): The Wisconsin native won three times on the US PGA Tour, but was a consistent – and busy – performer for two decades who racked up more than 600 starts. “It’s pretty good for a grinder,” Kelly said of his totals on a recent Golf Digest Podcast. Yes it is, Jerry. Yes it is.
Kevin Na ($US25,232,107): No one has a better ratio of millions of dollars made to tournament wins. No one.
John Senden ($US21,383,767): The Aussie has always been known for his accurate iron play, but that’s a lot of dough for someone with two US PGA Tour titles – the last of which came by one shot over, you guessed it, Kevin Na. Onya, Sendo!
Billy Mayfair ($US20,303,642): Probably known best for being that guy with the cut putting stroke or the guy who beat Tiger Woods in a US PGA Tour playoff, Mayfair had five career US PGA Tour wins. Still, cracking the $20 million barrier is impressive for someone whose last victory came two decades ago. And he’s still pulling in paycheques on the PGA Tour Champions, finishing T-2 at the Chubb Classic last weekend.
Brian Davis ($US13,323,356): We end with Davis because he’s made the most money of anyone on the US PGA Tour with zero victories. Davis edged out Briny Baird ($13,251,178) for this honour. Or is it a distinction? Nah, we’re sticking with honour. Forget about never getting into the winner’s circle – or that unfortunate penalty in a playoff at Hilton Head in 2010 – making more than $13 million playing golf seems like a pretty sweet deal.