Top 10 Highest Paid Golfers

Scottie Scheffler

Given the recent big-money moves to LIV Golf, who are the current highest paid golfers? Seeing as many of the moves have been money-orientated, has the swap really been worth it for some of golf’s greatest players? We here at Bet Station are dying to know which golfers earned the most this year, which is why we have put together this list.

In case you have missed any of the recent controversies surrounding golf and the LIV Golf tour, we can catch you up. Essentially, a rival league formed to the PGA aiming to pay the players a lot more per event. This caused further upsets when LIV players could not compete in certain events and effectively divided the golfing community. Whether you are pro or against the new tour, it does not matter. Instead, we are focusing on the highest paid golfers no matter where they play.

How do we judge which payers earn the most money? If you follow golf, then you know players make way more money from sponsorship deals than actually playing on the best golf courses. That’s because sponsorships pay a lot of money no matter how well the golfer is playing. Plus, given the huge lump sums of cash players got for joining LIV, we think it’s better to look at tournament earnings in 2022. Below is a list of the highest paid golfers just from what they have earned by playing in tournaments, no sponsorship deals, just pure skill.

10. Max Homa

The tenth highest paid golfer this year was Max Homa. Having turned pro in 2013, Homa took a good few years before the performances and paydays aligned. He has only won seven professional events in his career and recently achieved his highest Official World Golf Ranking of 16 this September. Even though his performances have picked up in recent times, Homa is still without a top ten finish at any major.

This was Homa’s highest earning year of his career by a considerable margin. Not only did he play his best golf throughout the year, but he performed exceptionally well at the Tour Championship. He tied with Justin Thomas for fifth at the event, resulting in a payday of $2.75 million from this event alone. Add that to the $5,289,842 he earned from the PGA Tour, and you have a man who made just over $8 million in 2022.

  • Age: 31
  • Professional Wins: 7
  • Major Championships: 0
  • PGA: $5,289,842
  • Tour Championship: $2,750,000
  • Total: $8,039,842

9. Justin Thomas

One of the highest paid golfers this year, Justin Thomas, was the number one golfer back in 2018. Thomas has 17 professional wins in his career, including 15 on the PGA Tour. He won his first PGA Championship in 2017 and had to wait until 2022 to add to his major’s tally. Besides two PGA Championships, Thomas has two top-ten finishes, one in the Masters and the other in the U.S. Open.

Even though Thomas is up there with the highest earners in golf this year, he made considerably less this year than in the past two years. In 2020, Thomas took home just less than $12 million. He followed this up with $13 million in 2021, including prize money from the Tour Championship and player index program. This year he made $6,829,575 from the PGA Tour and $2.75 million from the Tour Championship.

At 29 years old, we have already seen a lot from JT. We have seen him win multiple PGA Player of the Year awards and become the PGA Tour leading money winner on three occasions. It could set him up for the strongest part of his career, given that he turned professional nine years ago. There is no way of knowing if his form will continue, but he certainly has the maturity of a champion.

  • Age: 29
  • Professional Wins: 23
  • Major Championships: 2
  • PGA: $6,829,575
  • Tour Championship: $2,750,000
  • Unofficial Payouts: $127,500
  • Total: $9,707,075

8. Will Zalatoris

Another golfer who is finding their feet as a professional is Will Zalatoris. They voted him PGA Tour Rookie of the Year in 2020-21 and he achieved an Official World Golf Rank of seven in September 2022. Zalatoris has only won two professional events in his career, one in 2020 and one in August 2022. This year was nearly his year to shine as he finished joint second at the U.S. Open and second again in the PGA Championship. He also came second in the 2021 Masters, one stroke behind Hideki Matsuyama.

Zalatoris turned pro in 2018, but it took him a while to get to grips with his game. His career earnings are only $13,849,767. This year he almost tripled his previous career earnings, bringing home $9.9 million. If you have been watching Zalatoris at any of the recent majors, his performances would have certainly surprised you. The young golfer has shown us all what he can do on the world stage. If things had gone differently on the day, Zalatoris could be a one or two-time major winner.

Alas, that’s not the way how it turned out, but that does not mean all is lost for Zalatoris. He is only 26 years old, which should mean he still has a lot of room to improve his golf game over the next few years. We here at Bet Station hate to keep saying it, but if he continues down this path, he should be in contention as one of the best golfers of all time.

  • Age: 26
  • Professional Wins: 2
  • Major Championships: 0
  • PGA: $9,405,081
  • Tour Championship: $500,000
  • Total: $9,905,081

7. Patrick Cantlay

The fifth highest paid golfer in 2022 was Patrick Cantlay. For those of you who don’t know, Cantlay was the number one ranked amateur golfer for 54 weeks in a row, according to the World Amateur Golf Ranking. Since then, Cantlay has nine professional wins, including eight on the PGA Tour. His highest major results have all come recently, with his best result a tied third place at the PGA Championship in 2019.

Looking at his earnings since he turned pro in 2011, the American has won just under $50 million. In 2022, Cantlay won two tournaments, came inside the top three four times and finished in the top ten on 12 occasions. Cantlay has won $9,369,605 this year, a two million dollar improvement on the year before. In 2021, he was the second highest paid golfer with $7.6 million, less than $100,000 off Jon Rahm.

It’s clear that Cantlay is now in the form of his life as he consistently ranks in the top five of the best-paid golfers. Although he has yet to come close in most majors, it may only be a matter of time before he grabs his first major. Who knows, we could be looking at a future golfing great.

  • Age: 30
  • Professional Wins: 9
  • Major Championships: 0
  • PGA: $9,369,605
  • Tour Championship: $1,750,000
  • Total: $11,119,605

6. Im Sung-Jae

One of the youngest golfers on our list of top earners is from South Korea. At 24, Im Sung-Jae is an exciting prospect in golf. He has only won five professional events in his career, but he has some impressive achievements under his belt already. He was the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year in 2018-19 and finished joint second in the 2020 Masters. Sung-Jae also tied with Scottie Scheffler at this year’s Tour Championship, giving him an extra $5.75 million.

This year Sung-Jae has made $11,317,974 from playing golf. That means the one result from the Tour Championship was worth as much as a full year’s work on the PGA Tour as he made $5.5 million from the other tour events. You can see earnings like this drew players to LIV Golf. Let’s hope that Sung-Jae stays with the PGA and that the tour offers more big-money events this year.

As far as bright futures go, Sung-Jae is up there with the brightest. He might need a few more years to mature into the golfers you see already at the top. The Scheffler’s, McIlroy’s, and the Johnson’s all have a good few years of experience over the South Korean. He is certainly one to watch for the future.

  • Age: 24
  • Professional Wins: 5
  • Major Championships: 0
  • PGA: $5,567,974
  • Tour Championship: $5,750,000
  • Total: $11,317,974

5. Xander Schauffele

Xander Schauffele is a 28-year-old golfer from San Diego, California. He turned professional in 2015 and has won seven PGA Tour events in his career. His highest World Golfing Rank was fourth in January 2021. He was the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year in 2016-17 and he has won three PGA events this year. His best performances at the majors include tied second-place finishes at the Masters and the British Open. Schauffele also finished joint third at the 2019 U.S. Open.

Schauffele has made $46.6 million in his professional golfing career. This year he took home $7.427 million from PGA events, including his three wins. He came fourth in this year’s Tour Championship, which gave him a tremendous prize worth four million dollars. In 2022, Schauffele made $11,534,799 from playing golf. That means this year was his most profitable to date, beating the $10 million he made in 2019.

Here at Bet Station, we have high hopes for Schauffele. He comes from a very athletic family and has already gotten close to some of the biggest achievements in golf. Considering he has nearly made $50 million from playing golf, not including any sponsorship deals, hopefully, his focus is more on going down in history, rather than an easy paycheck.

  • Age: 28
  • Professional Wins: 12
  • Major Championships: 0
  • PGA: $7,427,299
  • Tour Championship: $4,000,000
  • Unofficial Payouts: $107,500
  • Total: $11,534,799

4. Dustin Johnson

One of the best golfers of all time is unsurprisingly one of the highest paid golfers in the world right now. After his huge money move to the LIV tour in June 2022, Dustin Johnson has only played in five LIV events this year. However, he has already made $12.75 million from those events alone. When you take into account the PGA earnings he has this year, he falls way short of the top spot for highest paid golfers.

Johnson is a two-time major winner with 29 wins as a professional. He won his first major in 2016, the U.S. Open, and his second was the 2020 Masters. He either came second or tied for second at the other two majors, including two second-place finishes at the PGA Championship. Johnson has won the Vardon Trophy and the Byron Nelson award twice in his career. Plus, he won the FedEx Cup in 2020 and was the PGA Tour money leader in 2015-16.

There is no way of knowing how much success lies in Johnson’s future, especially given the rivalry between the PGA and LIV. However, one aspect is almost certain. Dustin Johnson will be up there with the highest paid golfers for a few more years to come.

  • Age: 38
  • Professional Wins: 36
  • Major Championships: 2
  • PGA: $2,302,749
  • LIV: $12,750,000
  • Total: $15,052,749

3. Cameron Smith

One of the highest paid golfers this year was Cameron Smith. If you have been watching golf at the top level, two players were consistently gunning for the top spot in golf this year: Scottie Scheffler and Cameron Smith. The rivalry has brought out the absolute best from both players, something that happened a lot in golf, historically speaking.

Smith won the 150th Open Championship at the historic Old Course at St Andrews. He also came tied for second at the 2020 Masters and joint fourth at the U.S. Open in 2015. Smith’s performances in 2022 earned him the prestigious PGA Player of the Year award. This was one of his last achievements before turning his back on the PGA and joining the LIV Tour. As fans of golf, we want to see the best players in the world fight it out on the best golf courses, something that won’t happen if they split the field into rival tours.

Before making the split, Smith had made $10.7 million this year on the PGA Tour. Since joining LIV Golf, Smith has made over $5 million from playing in two golfing events. We here at Bet Station saw a bright future for golf when Scheffler had a playmate. It felt like both players were striving for perfection, resulting in a fascinating contest. However, with the appeal of making crazy money every round, who will rise to the challenge and resist the cash?

  • Age: 29
  • Professional Wins: 12
  • Major Championships: 1
  • PGA: $10,107,897
  • Tour Championship: $640,000
  • LIV: $5,075,0 00
  • Total: $15,822,897

2. Scottie Scheffler

Every golf fan has heard of Scottie Scheffler, especially since he is the most recent Masters winner. The number one ranked golfer in the world has been at the top of his game all year, including 27 weeks at the number one spot. He was the PGA Rookie of the Year in 2019-20 and went one step further in 2021-22 to become the PGA Tour Player of the Year.

Scheffler has made $14 million this year from golf, plus he got an extra $5.7 million from the Tour Championship. Scheffler tied for second place at this year’s event, leaving him joint second with Im Sung-Jae. This was by far his biggest year to date, taking his career earnings past the $30 million mark. What makes this man’s achievements so incredible is that he only turned pro in 2018 and has only won 4 PGA Tour events. He has two wins on both the European and Korn Ferry Tour, but he hardly set the scene alight until he reached the top of world golf.

A lot of players on our list are experienced players who are up there when talking about the best golfers of all time. However, golf seems to have reached a turning point where young players are threaterning more consistently in the majors. If Scheffler continues playing this well down the line, there is no doubt we are looking at multiple major winner.

  • Age: 26
  • Professional Wins: 8
  • Major Championships: 1
  • PGA: $14,046,909
  • Tour Championship: $5,750,000
  • Unofficial Payouts: $375,000
  • Total: $20,171,909

1. Rory McIlroy

One of the best golfers of all time, Rory McIlroy, was the highest paid golfer in 2022. The former number one golfer in the world held the top spot for 106 weeks. He has won 22 PGA Tour events, 14 European tournaments, and four majors. McIlroy won the U.S. Open in 2011, the PGA Championship in 2012, The British Open in 2014, and another PGA Championship in the same year. The man has won four Vardon Trophies, Four Byron Nelson Awards, and was the PGA Tour Player of the Year on three occasions.

McIlroy has made $106,114,050 in his golfing career, not including any sponsorship deals. 2022 proved to be his most successful year financially, taking home an astronomical $26.7 million. He beat his previous best of $22.7 million back in 2019 thanks to the Tour Championship offering an extra $3 million to first place. He has won the Tour Championship on three occasions, winning a combined total of $34,543,750 in the last four years.

  • Age: 33
  • Professional Wins: 42
  • Major Championships: 4
  • PGA: $8,654,566
  • Tour Championship: $18,000,000
  • Unofficial Payouts: $102,000
  • Total: $26,756,566