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Sunday, July 14, 2024

Scheffler’s Season Earnings Could Surpass Top NFL, NBA, MLB Stars

  • The golfer is closing in on $30 million in PGA Tour winnings this year.
  • Playoff bonuses could help give him more than $60 million this season.
Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Scottie Scheffler (above) is having a historic season on the PGA Tour. So good, in fact, that he’s on pace to outearn every single NFL quarterback, NBA star, and maybe even baseball’s $70 million man, Shohei Ohtani.

Sunday’s victory at the Travelers Championship, Scheffler’s sixth of the season, brought his 2024 prize money total to $27.69 million. Pending performance bonuses alone could easily double that sum—not to mention further checks the golfer may collect on the course.

What Lies Ahead

Scheffler has a huge lead in the Comcast Business Tour Top 10 standings, which will pay out $8 million to the winner after the regular season. There’s virtually no way second-place Xander Schauffele can catch him. When the PGA Tour’s playoffs start, this year’s Masters champion will be the favorite to win the FedExCup and its $25 million prize. Those alone would take Scheffler over $60 million in season earnings.

Along the way, he’ll compete at next month’s Open Championship and two early-round postseason tournaments—all of which will award at least $3 million to the respective winners. Scheffler could also cash in on the PGA Tour’s player impact program: Last year, he finished fifth and took home $6 million (this year’s winner is said to be taking home $10 million). 

Those variables could vault Scheffler’s season-long payout to $70 million or more.

Golf vs. Other Sports

With Scheffler approaching $60 million to $70 million this season, take a look at the players with the highest average annual salary values across the four major men’s U.S. sports leagues, according to Spotrac.

  • MLB: Shohei Ohtani, $70 million
  • NBA: Jaylen Brown, $57.24 million
  • NFL: Joe Burrow and Trevor Lawrence, $55 million
  • NHL: Auston Matthews, $13.25 million

What About LIV?

Joaquin Niemann leads LIV Golf players in on-course earnings this season, bringing in $12.9 million so far from league events and major championships. But that’s only one piece of the pie for LIV players, of course. 

Jon Rahm is playing his first season on LIV after accepting a contract reportedly worth anywhere from $300 million to $600 million. Depending on the length of the deal, that could very well put Rahm—and other LIV stars with big signing bonuses—ahead of Scheffler in cash this year. But as far as tournament earnings go, no one is close. 

Last year’s individual LIV champion Talor Gooch won a total of $36 million, including an $18 million title bonus.

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