The biggest purses in professional golf come in major tournaments or events just shy of major status, all carrying big first-place prize money and the largest payouts in the sport.
The Players Championship originally had the biggest purse in golf as of 2019, with the PGA Tour announcing an increase to $12.5 million, with the winner getting a record $2.25 million. However, the US Open is also tied for the biggest purse in golf, increasing the 2019 US Open purse to $12.5 million as well.
Before The Players increase, the US Open alone had the biggest purse in golf, when in 2017 the United States Golf Association increased the purse to $12 million, with the winner getting a record $2.16 million.
The Masters Tournament is tied for the third-largest purse in golf, increasing its purse in 2017 from $10 million to $11 million, with $1.98 million going to the green jacket winner.
The PGA Championship purse is now $11 million, as well. While the PGA of America and the PGA Tour have tied the purses of the PGA Championship and The Players together in recent years, the PGA of America hasn't kept pace with the PGA Tour's efforts to offer the richest purse in golf.
The British Open purse was $10.5 million in 2018 and increased to $10.75 million in 2019, and the price was quoted in US dollars so the prize fund would not be subject to fluctuation in the value of the British pound as the United Kingdom goes through the implications of the 2016 Brexit vote.