Every week on the PGA Tour, which plays approximately 46 weeks of the year and sometimes with multiple tournaments in a given week, someone wins a life-changing amount of money. However, the amount of money a PGA Tour player gets for winning a tournament changes from week to week.
Generally speaking, the winner of a PGA Tour event gets 18 percent of the total purse. However, the total purse changes by week. Generally speaking, PGA Tour events have three different tiers of purses in 2023.
The first and lowest tier is for what are known as opposite-field or additional events. These are separate tournaments that are played at the same time as another, bigger PGA Tour-sanctioned event, like a major championship, an overseas event or a Signature tournament. These tournaments have a purse of approximately $4 million in 2024, meaning the winner earns $720,000.
The second tier of events are standard PGA Tour events. These are events that are not majors, not The Players Championship, aren't part of the FedEx Cup playoffs or a Signature event. These events have purses that range from just shy of $7 million all the way to $10 million. Again, these are typically full-field events -- with the noted exception of the Zozo Championship in Japan -- that pay 18 percent of the total purse to the champion of that week's event.
The difference in purses can be explained as a way of attempting to differentiate tournaments, but tournaments also have different purses depending on the contract that the tournament and its title and lead sponsors sign with the PGA Tour. Depending on when the sponsor signed the contract, where the tournament is on the schedule and what the tournament hopes to accomplish with their sponsorship, the tournament in question will have a different purse.
The third tier of tournaments consist of the biggest PGA Tour tournaments. The Signature events all have a purse of $20 million, as well as those in the FedEx Cup playoffs. The Sentry is the only exception, with a small field and a $15 million purse. The Sentry also doesn't pay 18 percent of the purse to the winner, spreading the money out more among the qualifying players.
The four major championships all have big purses, though they vary between the tournaments. However, they all pay 18 percent of their total purse to the winner.
While the PGA Tour winner's share is generally the same on a percentage basis, the purses of tournaments do vary across the schedule, meaning players are competing for money that is typically commensurate with an event's status on the Tour slate.