Who gained (and lost) the most money at the Tour Championship

August 26, 2019

The first edition of the new-look Tour Championship is complete, and after plenty of debate over the new scoring system’s merits, the jury is still out. But one thing we know for sure is this: the 30 players who made the Tour Championship field all made a LOT of money.

However, there was a ton a leaderboard volatility over the course of the four rounds. In fact, only one player finished exactly where he started on Thursday, which begs another question: which players gained and, more importantly, lost the most money at East Lake?

Given the simplicity of the new format, it’s easy to determine how much a player made compared to his projected earnings to start the week. Without further ado, here are the biggest winners and losers from Tour Championship week.

Biggest winners at the Tour Championship

The biggest winner in this contest is the guy who won everything else, too: Rory McIlroy. McIlroy began the week in 5th position in the FedEx Cup standings. That earned him a starting score of five under. Had he stayed put in 5th place, he would have won a solid $2.5 million, which is more than the winner’s share at any other PGA Tour event. But Rory didn’t stay put, not by a long shot. McIlroy overcame a five-stroke deficit and won, taking home the enormous winner’s prize of $15 million. All in all, Rory gained $12.5 million for his efforts at East Lake (or $3.125 million per round).

Xander Schauffele finished second behind McIlroy in the tournament, but he was also the second-biggest gainer at East Lake. Schauffele improved from 8th to 2nd, earning a $5 million paycheck, a full $3.9 million more than his projected Tour Championship earnings.

Paul Casey and Adam Scott (who finished 5th and 6th, respectively) were the only other players to net more than $1 million over the weekend. Casey won $1.93 million more than projected, while Scott finished up $1.24 million.

Xander Schauffele was one of the biggest winner's at the Tour Championship, while Justin Thomas lost a lot of potential earnings.
Thomas J. Russo/USA TODAY Sports; Butch Dill/USA TODAY Sports

Biggest losers at the Tour Championship

I suspect most people, however, want to know who lost the most money at the Tour Championship. And there certainly were some really, really big losers.

Patrick Cantlay fell from his lofty 2nd-place starting position to T21st. That means he had a net loss of over $4.5 million compared to his projected earnings. Ouch. Patrick Reed, who started in 4th, didn’t fare all that much better, losing $2.1 million.

The biggest loser of all, however, is Justin Thomas — and it’s not even close. Thomas finished in a respectable third place at the Tour Championship, which earned him a huge check worth $3.5 million. But JT began the week at the mountaintop and, because of that, was projected to take home $15 million. All in, JT lost a truly astounding $11.5 million dollars.

The only player to finish in the exact same spot he started in was Charles Howell III. That means CHIII netted $0 for his play at East Lake (he actually won a tidy $415,000 for staying in 28th place). Lucas Glover nearly matched the feat, but Dustin Johnson tied him at the bottom of the leaderboard. So Glover went from a starting position of 29th to T29, which lost him $5,000 (DJ had it worse, losing $220,000).

Of course none of these players actually lost anything last week. All of the money they made, even if they finished lower than they started, is money they didn’t have in the first place. With DJ and Glover taking home $400k each for finishing last, no one should be complaining as they head home.

Here is the full list of finishers, with each player’s official Tour Championship earnings, projected earnings, and net gain/loss:

Tour Championship earnings (gain/loss)

1. Rory McIlroy: $15 million – $2.5 million = +$12.5 million
2. Xander Schauffele: $5 million – $1.1 million = +$3.9 million
T3. Justin Thomas: $3.5 million – $15 million = -$11.5 million
T3. Brooks Koepka: $3.5 million – $4 million = -$500,000
5. Paul Casey: $2.5 million – $570,000 = +$1.93 million
6. Adam Scott: $1.9 million – $660,000 = +$1.24 million
7. Tony Finau: $1.3 million – $705,000 = +$595,000
8. Chez Reavie: $1.1 million – $445,000
T9. Patrick Reed: $843,333.33 – $3 million = -$2,156,666.67
T9. Kevin Kisner: $843,333.33 – $505,000 = +$338,333.33
T9. Hideki Matsuyama: $843,333.33 – $595,000 = +$248,333.33
T12. Bryson DeChambeau: $682,500 – $435,000 = +$247,500
T12. Jon Rahm: $682,500 – $1.9 million = -$1,217,500
14. Jason Kokrak: $620,000 – $395,000 = +$225,000
15. Gary Woodland: $595,000 – $750,000 = -$155,000
T16. Tommy Fleetwood: $551,666.68 – $478,000 = +$73,666.68
T16. Webb Simpson: $551,666.68 – $950,000 = -$398,333.32
T16. Matt Kuchar: $551,666.68 – $1.3 million = -$748,333.32
T19. Sungjae Im: $512,500 – $456,000 = +$56,500
T19. Rickie Fowler: $512,500 – $520,000 = -$7,500
T21. Louis Oosthuizen: $478,000 – $425,000 = +$53,000
T21. Abraham Ancer: $478,000 – $830,000 = -$352,000
T21. Patrick Cantlay: $478,000 – $5 million = -$4,522,000
T24. Marc Leishman: $450,500 – $490,000 = -$39,500
T24. Brandt Snedeker: $450,500 – $535,000 = -$84,500
T26. Justin Rose: $430,000 – $550,000 = -$120,000
T26. Corey Conners: $430,000 – $466,000 = -$36,000
28. Charles Howell III: $415,000 – $415,000 = $0
T29. Lucas Glover: $400,000 – $405,000 = -$5,000
T29. Dustin Johnson: $400,000 – $620,000 = -$220,000

In case you’re curious, below you can find the starting positions, starting scores, and projected earnings for each player at the start of Tour Championship:

Starting positions with projected winnings

1. Justin Thomas -10: $15 million
2. Patrick Cantlay -8: $5 million
3. Brooks Koepka -7: $4 million
4. Patrick Reed -6: $3 million
5. Rory McIlroy -5: $2.5 million
6. Jon Rahm -4: $1.9 million
7. Matt Kuchar -4: $1.3 million
8. Xander Schauffele -4: $1.1 million
9. Webb Simpson -4: $950,000
10. Abraham Ancer -4: $830,000
11. Gary Woodland -3: $750,000
12. Tony Finau -3: $705,000
13. Adam Scott -3: $660,000
14. Dustin Johnson -3: $620,000
15. Hideki Matsuyama -3: $595,000
16. Paul Casey -2: $570,000
17. Justin Rose -2: $550,000
18. Brandt Snedeker -2: $535,000
19. Rickie Fowler -2: $520,000
20. Kevin Kisner -2: $505,000
21. Marc Leishman -1: $490,000
22. Tommy Fleetwood -1: $478,000
23. Corey Conners -1: $466,000
24. Sungjae Im -1: $456,000
25. Chez Reavie -1: $445,000
26. Bryson DeChambeau E: $435,000
27. Louis Oosthuizen E: $425,000
28. Charles Howell III E: $415,000
29. Lucas Glover E: $405,000
30. Jason Kokrak E: $395,000

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