Tuesday December 5, 2023

World’s Top Golfers Are Getting Younger, Richer

  • A report on the world's top young golfers found that 18 of them will earn over $100 million before turning 50.
  • Rory McIlroy led the field with $400 million in future earnings.
Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports/Design: Alex Brooks
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Though its fans are among the oldest in sports, golf is getting new life from its rising stars. 

A report by financial advisory firm Duff and Phelps projects that 18 golfers will make over $100 million in future earnings before they turn 50

  • Rory McIlroy, 32, was far and away the top future earner at $400 million.
  • Justin Thomas, 28, was a distant second at $299 million, followed by Bryson DeChambeau, 27 with $225 million. All three saw their future earnings shoot up over $60 million from the previous analysis in 2020.
  • Tiger Woods, 45, who is recovering from a harrowing car accident in March, still brings in tens of millions annually in endorsements and is projected to earn $150 million over the next five years.

DeChambeau currently sits atop the PGA Tour’s 2021 money leaders list with more than $5.8 million in winnings.

Woods’ $60 million haul from the one-year period ending May 1 placed him first among golfers and 12th overall in Forbes’ report on the top earning athletes. Phil Mickelson, 49, and Dustin Johnson, 36, were the only other two to make the top 50. 

While the PGA Tour is the most prestigious golf organization, two similarly structured upstart leagues are trying to entice top players with a new model. 

The Premier Golf League is recruiting players to sign on for 18 tournaments annually, each with a $20 million prize pool. The league, which hopes to launch in 2023, would be partially owned by players, course operators, and fans.

The similar but unrelated Super Golf League is also seeking to lure top players with entry bonuses of $30 million to $50 million.

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