Every week on the PGA Tour, European Tour, LPGA Tour and any major professional golf tour in the world, players tie. It's just the nature of tournament golf that 54 or 72 holes is simply not enough to separate every golfer who makes the cut into a nice and neat lineup of finishers.
That means, each week, more than half the weekend field to make the cut will wind up tied with another golfer for their finishing position. Of course, this naturally creates a little bit of an accounting headache for golfers and pro tours, splitting out money (and points, like for the FedEx Cup) out among those who are tied.
So how do professional tours, including the PGA Tour, split prize money and points when players are tied?
It's very simple. When players are tied for a single position, the prize money for each of those players is the evenly divided amount of the total money the players would have been awarded had they all finished separately.
Here's an example.
If three players on the PGA Tour finished tied for third place at a tournament, they don't split the third-place prize money. That would be silly, gipping them of money compared to a player who would finish alone in sixth place. Instead, the money the three players tied for third place earn is the total money for third, fourth and fifth place combined together and divided by three. The same is true for FedEx Cup points for PGA Tour members.
This way, players get a pay bump for finishing tied for their finishing position relative to the players who finish beneath them, but they don't earn a financial edge compared to finishing alone in a higher position and further separating themselves from the field.
With PGA Tour prize money payouts set before each tournament, regardless of how many players make the cut, it's seemingly easy to figure out how they money will be divided. However, the PGA Tour adds money to the purse when more than the minimum number of players make the cut, actually enlarging the total purse.
The math is not as easy in major championships, as governing bodies figure out the prize pool based on how many players make the cut.