ATLANTA – Playing in the finale of the FedExCup Playoffs comes with its perks. Specifically, the potential to earn up to $18 million.
That money is technically a “bonus” rewarded to the top players for a successful season (i.e. not counted as official money). The difference between finishing first and finishing seventh is $16 million, which is where eventual champ Rory McIlroy started this week, at No. 7 and 4 under, before making the largest comeback in starting-strokes history.
After four rounds, here are the winners of the FedExCup bonus pool, who had clutch performances to up their earnings, and the losers who lost much more than a couple spots on the leaderboard.
This one is easy. McIlroy started the week at 4 under, six strokes back from No. 1 seed Scottie Scheffler. By the third hole, he was 10 strokes back. By the 72nd hole, he had erased that deficit and then some. The now-three-time champion went from a potential $2 million payday to start the week, to $5.75 million (T-2) beginning the final round, to securing an $18-million haul after defeating the world’s No. 1 player.
“Look, the money is the money,” McIlroy said after his win. “It's great, and we are professional golfers; we play golf for a living. That is a part of it. But I think at this point in my career, the winning and the journey and the emotions and who I do it with mean more than the check.
Homa made the largest positive jump on the leaderboard this week with a lot of hard work and a little luck.
The 16th seed coming into the week, Homa dropped to T-26 after a 1-over 71. He wouldn’t go over par again, posting rounds of 62, 66 and 66 to finish.
A closing eagle on the par-5 18th in Round 2 gave the 30-year-old the round of the day, jumped him 18 spots, and positioned him approximately $1 million higher than before. Then, a little help from the flag stick on the 18th in the final round helped him notch one more birdie, a play that earned him more than $1 million for a grand total of $2,750,000 after finishing T-5.
— Golf Central (@GolfCentral) August 28, 2022
If it seems harsh to call the reigning Masters champion a loser, know it’s in jest, seeing as he still took home $5,750,000 for finishing T-2 with Sungjae Im.
But the not-so-harsh, more bittersweet reality is that paycheck could’ve been $12.25 million more if the 26-year-old had hung on to the lead he had maintained through the previous three rounds… and most of the season, for that matter.
Maybe it was the 24 holes he had to play on Sunday, or maybe he was just gassed after a long season. Either way, his pockets weren't hurting too bad at the end of the day. He finished with $19,796,910 in total earnings for the season, including $14,046,910 in official money – the most official money ever earned in a Tour season.
Arguably the biggest shock of the week was when Champion Golfer of the Year Cam Smith dropped from the starting sixth seed to No. 20 after his greatest weapon, his putter, went ice cold.
Smith, who is expected to announce his departure for LIV Golf imminently, posted rounds of 67, 71, 68 and 69. The Aussie was ranked 18th in strokes gained: putting for the week – including being dead last at -2.522 in Round 3 – and 26th for greens in regulation.
The cost of a frigid putter? Nearly $2 million from the start of the week to his finish.