Before jumping into the top 10 list of highest-earning golfers in Masters history, it is important to take a brief look at the history of the tournament itself. The Masters Tournament, popularly known as the US Masters or simply The Masters is one of the 4 major professional golf championships in the world. Because the championship commences in April, it is the 1st major golf championship event every year. Unlike the other 3 major championships, the US Masters is held at the same venue every year i.e. the Augusta National Golf Club located in Georgia, USA.
The 1st Masters championship was held in 1934. It was started by golf enthusiasts Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts. Jones designed the Augusta National Golf Club with the help of a Golf course architect named Alister MacKenzie. Since then, The Masters has joined a number of international golf tours. Currently, the Masters is one of the official money events on the European tour, Japan Golf Tour and the PGA Tour. It is worth noting that the event is smaller in terms of the number of players involved compared to other major golf championships. This is simply because The Masters is an invitational golf event.
The Masters has a number of key unique traditions. For instance, since 1949, Masters champions have been bestowed with a green jacket which must be returned when one fails to defend their championship win. In most cases, the green jacket only leaves the Augusta National Golf Club grounds when a professional golfer wins the championship for the 1st time. There are however other exceptions i.e. when the jacket needs to be adjusted or replaced.
The tournament also features a special dinner known as the Champions Dinner. This dinner was inaugurated in 1952 by legendary golfer Ben Hogan. It is held on the Tuesday before the tournament kicks off. It is worth noting that this dinner is open to past Masters champions only, and a few board members of the Augusta National Golf Club.
Since The Masters Tournament commenced in 1934, a total of 48 golfers have won the championship, a few of them winning more than once. Some of the most notable winners include; Tiger Woods who has won the tournament four times and Phil Mickelson who has captured the victory on three occasions. These golfers also happen to be among the top golfers who have walked away with the most money in this tournament. If you are interested in finding out exactly how much these golfers have earned, as well as other top earners in the Masters History, below is a list of the top 10 highest-earning golfers in Masters history.
10MIKE WEIR (TOTAL WINNINGS: $1,080,000)
Number 10 on this list is 43-year-old Canadian professional golfer Mike Weir. He makes it to this list because he has earned a total $1,080,000 as a Masters champion. Mike Weir won The Masters Championship in 2003 in a one-hole playoff victory over Len Mattiace. Unlike some other golfers who are featured in this list, Mike Weir has won The Masters only once. He still makes it to this list because the of his large grand prize winnings. There are golfers like Jack Nicklaus who have won The Masters five times but aren’t featured in this list because at the time, the tournament’s prize winnings were much lower than they would become in later years. Mike Weir has won 16 golfing championships/tournaments as a professional golfer.
9JOSE MARIA OLAZABAL (TOTAL WINNINGS: $1,080,000)
Spanish professional golfer Jose Maria Olazabal comes in at tenth spot with total earnings of $1,080,000. Although his total winnings equal those of tenth place Mike Weir, Olazabal has won The Masters twice, in 1994 and 1999 earning him $360,000 and $720,000 respectively. He won both championships by two strokes. He is among the few golfers in this list to have won The Masters more than once and is one of only 2 Spanish golfers to ever win the tournament. He is 47-years-old with 31 professional wins under his belt, making him one of the most decorated Spanish golfers in the world.
8ZACH JOHNSON (TOTAL WINNINGS: $1,305,000)
American professional golfer Zach Johnson comes in eighth place with total earnings amounting to $1,305,000. He won The Masters in 2007 by two strokes and became the first golfer to win the tournament with a score above par. Johnson has a career 24 wins including ten PGA tour victories. He joined the PGA Tour in 2004 and is currently 37-years-old.
7TREVOR IMMELMAN (TOTAL WINNINGS: $1,350,000)
Trevor Immelman makes it to this list for winning the 2008 Masters Championship with a two-shot lead over runner-up Tiger Woods. Born in South Africa, Immelman has 11 professional wins in this entire career as a professional golfer. He is 33-years-old.
6ANGEL CABRERA (TOTAL WINNINGS: $1,350,000)
Coming in at number 6 on this list is Argentina’s Angel Cabrera. Cabrera won The 2009 Masters in a three-way playoff with Americans Kenny Perry and Chad Campbell. As a result, he took home the $1,350,000 prize money and became the first Argentinian to win the tournament. At 44-years-old, Cabrera has a record 45 professional wins under his belt as a professional golfer. Some of his most notable wins include two PGA Tour wins, five European Tour wins and one Asian Tour win, among other golf championship victories.
5CHARL SCHWARTZEL (TOTAL WINNINGS: $1,440,000)
South African professional golfer Charl Schwartzel makes it to this list for winning the 2011 Masters championship by two strokes over Adam Scott and Jason Day. Schwartzel walked away with the prize money totalling $1,440,000. Prior to winning the Masters, the 29-year-old golfer had enjoyed other prestigious wins including eight European Tour wins and one Asia Tour win. Schwartzel has a total of 11 professional victories under his belt.
4ADAM SCOTT (TOTAL WINNINGS: $1,440,000)
33-year-old professional Australian golfer Adam Scott makes it to the top five of this list after winning the most recent Masters Championship in 2013. Scott walked away with $1,440,000 for winning The Masters this year, defeating Angel Cabrera on the second hole of a sudden-death playoff. Scott has won 24 professional events since turning pro in 2000. Some of his most notable professional wins include ten PGA Tour wins, nine European Tour wins, four Asian Tour wins and one Sunshine Tour win.
BUBBA WATSON (TOTAL WINNINGS: $1,440,000)
In third spot on this list is 35-year-old professional American golfer Bubba Watson. Watson makes it to this list for winning the 2012 Masters, defeating Louis Oosthuizen in a two-round sudden-death playoff victory. The win earned him $1,440,000. Two perennial tournament favourites Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy tied for a disappointing 40th place at five over par that year. Since turning pro in 2003, Bubba Watson has managed six professional wins in his ten-year career as a professional golfer.
2PHIL MICKELSON (TOTAL WINNINGS: $3,727,000)
Phil Mickelson makes it to second position for winning The Masters Championship 3 times. He is the 2004, 2006 and 2010 Masters champion, earning a total of $3,727,000 in prize money. This is an extraordinary achievement, considering this 43-year-old professional American golfer is one of eight golfers to win the tournament at least three times. Phil earned The Masters Tournament winners share of $1,117,000 in 2004, $1,260,000 in 2006 and $1,350,000 in 2010. He boasts of having 51 professional wins in his entire professional golf career which has spanned over 20 years, as he turned pro in 1992.
1TIGER WOODS (TOTAL WINNINGS: $3,762,000)
Number one in this list of top 10 highest-earning golfers in Masters History is none other than Tiger Woods. This 37-year-old professional American golfer is undoubtedly one of the best golfers in the world with a record 106 professional wins since he turned pro in 1996. Woods has claimed the green jacket four times in 1997, 2001, 2002 and 2005. He shares the second most Masters wins with Arnold Palmer at four apiece. But whereas Palmer won his championships 40 years prior, Woods was able to cash in much larger winnings for his victories. He earned $486,000, $1,008,000, $1,008,000 and $1,260,000 in 1997, 2001, 2002 and 2005 respectively, totalling $3,762,000. No other professional golfer has earned such an amount in the history of The Masters. Despite the controversy that has surrounded his personal life in recent years, Tiger Woods still manages to capture first spot on this list as the biggest winner in the history of the Masters Tournament.