Having joined some friends for a round of golf at the weekend, I scrambled my way to a round of 70. Having hit 17 greens in regulation and feeling like I had putted pretty well, I wasn’t all that pleased with my score.
Driving home I was reminded of something a coach once told me as junior. I had shot 71 on a pretty easy course and gave the impression I had shot 171, sulking around and dragging my heels. He told me:
If you shot 71 in every round on the PGA Tour, you’d be a millionaire.
I remember thinking “really?!” (as well as “wow… my coach is kinda patronising”). A little older and a little wiser, I drove home at the weekend wondering if that statement was still true.
So I went to work.
To cut a long story short (there was a lot of copying, and pasting, and formulas, and double checking…), here is what I found:
If you shot 71 in every round of the 2013 PGA Tour Season, you would have made 23 of 36 cuts, finished solo 4th at US Open, solo 2nd at The Open Championship and finished in the top-10 at three other events (Hyundai Tournament of Champions, The Masters and The Memorial). You would also have banked $2,760,514.
That would have been enough to get you to the Tour Championship and secure your card for the 2014 season, finishing the season 23rd on the money list.
Here’s a look at the complete season and earnings*
So it would appear my old coach was right. If you shot 71 every round on the PGA Tour, you would be a millionaire, and likely have a job for the next 30-40 years.
I also did the calculations for 70 and 72, so here is how they compare:
If you shot 70 in every round of the 2013 PGA Tour Season, you would have made 29 of 36 cuts, banked $7,657,470, won the US Open, The Open Championship and the Wells Fargo Championship (in a playoff) and finished 2nd on the money list behind Tiger Woods (who averaged a shade under 69 for the season).
If you shot 72 in every round of the 2013 PGA Tour Season, you would have made 17 of 36 cuts, banked $996,603 and finished 83rd on the money list with top-20s at The Masters, US Open and Open Championship.
So next time you play with someone that shoots 72 and seems disappointed, be sure to inform them they could be making a pretty profitable career out of shooting that number on the PGA Tour.
*To calculate these numbers I did have to make one or two assumptions. In the interest of showing my working, here are the assumptions:
- The player played every PGA Tour event, including the season-opening Tournament Of Champions, WGC events and Majors.
- The player did not play the WGC Matchplay.
- The player had to make the cut to cash in (i.e. couldn’t collect winnings for shooting 288, i.e. 72 x 4, if the event had a cut of 144 or more, i.e. 72 x 2).
- Winnings were calculated based on existing fields, meaning the hypothetical player would not add a player to the field, rather simply collect whatever a player who shot 288 made.