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In a very lucrative sport, here are the 10 highest paid golfers of all time

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highest paid golfers all time

The best professional golfers have earned a lot of money over the years — we’re talking 55 million dollars minimum.

Indeed, some of the most elite PGA tour players even feature on the Forbes Estimates rich list of all time highest-paid athletes.

Golfers pop up on all these kinds of lists — 2023 is no exception in Australia, either.

But who has earned the most? Like, ever?

Allow us to enlighten you.

Here are the top 10 PGA golfers who have earned the most money during their careers; all of whom have made some serious money!

golf events in australia
Will any Aussie make the cut? Find out.

The 10 highest paid golfers of all time

This list of the highest-paid professional golfers is taken from data published in Golfweek.

It considers prize money and on-course earnings from all PGA championship and PGA tour events. However, it does not consider lucrative sponsorship deals the player has or had.

10. Matt Kuchar

Country: USA

Pro PGA Tour Career: 2000

Career Earnings: $57,753,967

When he first burst onto the scene in 2000, many PGA golfers proclaimed Kuchar as one to watch.

You could argue he hasn’t really fulfilled his potential since then, having not won a major. Although the combined payout amount thus far is nothing to be sneezed at.

9. Jordan Spieth

Country: USA

Pro PGA Tour Career: 2012

Career Earnings: $60,009,379

When the PGA Tour announced Jordan Spieth as the number 1 ranked golfer in the world on August 15th, 2015, he became the second youngest player behind Tiger Woods to hold that honour — aged 22 years and 20 days.

Now 30, he has won 16 events, including three majors and the FedEx Cup. It still seems inevitable he will add more trophies to his cabinet.

If there is one single event he would want to win, surely it would be the PGA Championship. It is the only major he hasn’t won yet; his second-place behind Jason Day in 2015 the closest he’s come.

highest paid golfers all time
Jordan Spieth is a three-time major winner, including the 2015 Masters.

8. Justin Rose

Country: England

Pro PGA Tour Career: 1998

Career Earnings: $61,819,359

Justin Rose has steadily risen from being an average PGA Tour player to one of the best players in golf.

He first came to prominence as a 17-year-old, playing in the Walker Cup. Soon after, he notably finished fourth in the 1998 Open Championship.

His golf outings have been fruitful in his career; garnering 25 pro wins, earning him the world number 1 ranking in September 2018.

Of the course, Rose is also known for supporting sustainable golf facilities and has forthright opinions on the player impact program.

7. Adam Scott

Country: Australia

Pro PGA Tour Career: 2000

Career Earnings: $62,924,220

Adam Scott’s life changed forever when he became the first Australian to win the US Masters in 2013. The money he earned from that and 30 other wins as a professional has set him up for life.

On the course, Scott is known for his impeccable dress style — which caused Esquire magazine to announce that he was ‘leading the charge’ in the golf fashion stakes. That string to his bow helps pay bills, too.

Adam Scott, highest paid golfers all time
Adam Scott | Winning the Masters is lucrative business

6. Vijay Singh

Country: Fiji

Pro PGA Tour Career: 1982

Career Earnings: $71,236,216

There can’t be that many golfers more popular than Vijay Singh.

The amiable Fijian earned plenty of money across his storied 40 year career.

5. Jim Furyk

Country: USA

Pro PGA Tour Career: 1992 to present

Career Earnings: $71,507,269

To date, Furyk has won over 71 million in various tournaments around the world.

He might not be winning as much money in terms of tour victories as other golfers now that he is approaching the twilight of his career — but he is still regarded as one of the nicest guys to play a round with on the golf course.

4. Dustin Johnson

Country: USA

Pro PGA Tour Career: 2007 to present

Career Earnings: $75,417,837

‘DJ’ became one of the first major golfers to commit to the LIV tour.

Before that, he’d claimed wins in the Masters, US Open and FedEx Cup.

3. Rory McIlroy

Country: Northern Ireland

Pro PGA Tour Career: 2007 to present

Career Earnings: $80,095,557

Remarkably, McIlroy is still only 34 despite having been around for ages.

With much of his career ahead of him, he could one day find himself as the richest professional golfer to have ever played the sport by the time he hangs up his clubs professionally.

2. Phil Mickelson

Country: USA

Pro PGA Tour Career: 1992 to present

Career Earnings: $96,572,310

Having also spent time ‘LIVing it up’ more recently, Phil Mickelson will go down in history as one of the best-ever golfers.

With six major wins to his name and 45 wins at PGA tour events, ‘Lefty’ has been refered to as ‘the LeBron James of golf’.

So that leaves only one player that has some ‘Michael Jordan’ about him…

1. Tiger Woods

Country: USA

Pro PGA Tour Career: 1996 to present

Career Earnings: $120,954,766

Thanks to his off-course earnings, Tiger Woods is a billionaire, making him one of the wealthiest players in professional sports. Now aged 47, he has battled injury, loss of form and high-profile issues in his personal life off course. However, he still remains a legend of the game thanks to his 15 wins in the four majors.

Whether Tiger Woods wins any more major championships remains to be seen. But his many endorsement deals will ensure his total purse from the game is more than any other pro golfer for several years.

highest paid golfers all time, tiger woods
The one and only Tiger Woods.

As you can see, the ten best golfers on the PGA tour have all received a healthy payday from their various victories in PGA tournaments – so clearly, golf is a game where you can get paid.

With the rise of LIV golf changing the landscape of professional golf and the prize money that these top golfers can earn now rapidly increasing, winning any of the many golf tournaments around the world can be a financially life-changing event for anyone good enough to do so.

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