British Open Payout 2012: Breaking Down Top 10's Winnings

Ian HanfordFeatured ColumnistJuly 23, 2012

LYTHAM ST ANNES, ENGLAND - JULY 22:  Ernie Els of South Africa waits with his caddie Ricci Roberts on the second hole during the final round of the 141st Open Championship at Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club on July 22, 2012 in Lytham St Annes, England.  (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Andrew Redington/Getty Images

In case you weren't aware of this, PGA Tour golfers don't just participate for fun. They win money and in a big tournament like the British Open, it's a fair chunk of change. 

This year's purse was $8 million. That money had to be divided up among all golfers who made the cut. Top finishers make more than others, but everyone walks away with a little something. 

Let's take a look at what this year's Top 10 finishers earned in this year's The Open Championship.


*Earnings and leaderboard courtesy of


1 Ernie Els -7 $1,405,890
2 Adam Scott -6 $812,292

Tiger Woods

-3 $464,725

Brandt Snedeker

-3 $464,725
T5 Luke Donald -2 $304,610
T5 Graeme McDowell -2 $304,610
T7 Thomas Aiken -1 $222,599
T7 Nicolas Colsaerts -1 $222,599
T9 Ian Poulter E $124,343
T9 Zach Johnson E $124,343


Let's take a look at how a few of these golfers could have changed their fortunes.


Ernie Els

Els won the tournament, but it took a triumphant change in Round 4 to make it happen. He birdied four holes down the stretch and he only bogeyed two holes on Sunday.

He's been here before. Els won the British Open in 2002, and he's had an esteemed career. His backstretch on Sunday shouldn't come as a huge surprise.

As you can see, Els pulled in nearly $1.5 million in winnings. That's a steep jump from Adam Scott's sub-$1 million payout. 


Adam Scott

Scott lost the British Open with with a "choke job" of epic proportions. He lost the tournament by one stroke, and he bogeyed the final four holes of the tournament. 

I shouldn't have to go any further to describe how close he was to claiming Els' prize money. Instead, he let Els chase him down when it mattered most and he lost around $500,000 in the process. 

It's certainly not money to turn down. $800,000 is nothing to snub your nose at, but Scott should be wondering what could have been.


Tiger Woods

Woods is no longer the top earning American athlete, but that doesn't matter. First of all, it's not like No. 3 in America is a major hit. Second of all, he's held the top spot since 2004. 

He's made plenty of money, and he isn't done. He will earn more by the time his golf career draws to a close. Woods won less than $500,000 in this year's British Open. Without a triple-bogey on the sixth hole Sunday, he could have earned much more. 

Woods is disappointed, I'm sure, but that doesn't take away from the winnings he did earn. Not to mention the money he's made in the past.