Phil Mickelson will be taking an over-sized check worth a tidy $1.43 million to his bank after capturing his first British Open title.
Obviously, he will not be on the below list. Well, technically I suppose I could include him. Rory McIlroy made $1.445 million last year by winning the PGA Championship. However, I'm going to focus a little more on golfers with a chance to make a more drastic improvement, and Mickelson belongs nowhere near that group.
With a five-under 66 on Sunday, Lefty moved to three under and won by three strokes. It was a final round for the ages, which not only led to Mickelson notching his fifth major and first British Open title, but adding a bucket's worth of cash for his four days of work.
Mickelson's cash haul is nearly double the $823,167 that second-place finisher Henrik Stenson earned.
So, with the year's third major a thing of the past, it is time to set our sights to the Oak Hill Country Club, located in the Town of Pittsford, New York, for the PGA Championship beginning on August 8.
Check out the final leaderboard and the payouts, and then I'll take a closer look at three golfers who will close out the major season with a better showing.
2013 Open Championship Prize Money
|T15||Eduardo De La Riva||+6||73||73||75||69||$95,043|
|T21||Rafael Cabrera Bello||+7||67||74||76||74||$72,218|
|T44||Bo Van Pelt||+10||76||73||77||68||$24,641|
Matt Kuchar, $95,043
Matt Kuchar got off to a slow start in this tournament by firing a 74 and 73. However, his trend of one-stroke improvement continued. He finished off with weekend scores of 72 and 71 to wind up tied for 15th.
Kuchar was undoubtedly hoping for a better finish, but his strong close was a great sign.
Heading into the U.S. Open, Kuchar was on fire. He was fresh off a victory in the Memorial and he was second in his previous start.
Then he was a lackluster 28th at the U.S. Open and played poorly in a European stop in his only start between the majors.
I expect Kuchar to get back to his excellent consistency to close the year, and he is my early pick to win the PGA Championship.
Bubba Watson, $39,251
Were it not for a third-round 77, Bubba Watson would have been in line for a bigger payday. However, that one bad round is not overly shocking. The 2013 Masters champ has had a hard time putting together four solid rounds all year.
He doesn't have a top-three finish yet this year, and only three top 10s.
However, he is beginning to turn the corner. A month ago, his fourth-place finish at the Travelers Championship was his best since his fourth in his first start of the year. He posted four rounds in the 60s to finish tied for 30th at Greenbrier in his only start between majors.
Watson has been solid with his putter in this stretch, and that continued with him needing 1.78 putts while hitting 62.5 percent of his greens in regulation at Muirfield.
And his power certainly isn't suffering:
How firm is it getting at Muirfield? Bubba Watson had 247 to 17 and went with a 6-iron.— Dan Jenkins (@danjenkinsgd) July 18, 2013
Watson is a streaky player. He's been coasting a bit this season, but I see him finding the zone just in time for the PGA Championship.
Rory McIlroy, $0
I'm not really going out on a limb on this one. All Rory McIlroy will have to do at the PGA Championship to make more money than he did at the British is make the cut.
Well, maybe I am going out on a limb?
McIlroy was awful in his two rounds. He wasn't even close to the cut, which was at eight over. After rounds of 79 and 75, McIlroy finished at 12 over.
This tweet by by Golf Digest's Dan Jenkins sums up his play:
Rory McIlroy has a new part-time job: Mowing the rough at Muirfield with his golf clubs.— Dan Jenkins (@danjenkinsgd) July 18, 2013
There is little sign that the former No. 1 is about to turn his game around, but he is too talented not to.
According to McIlroy, it is all in his head:
Reporter: "Is it a lack of confidence?" Rory: "Yeah, it's definitely that." #TheOpen— Alex Myers (@AlexMyers3) July 18, 2013
While a mental block in golf is nothing to be taken lightly, it is easier to overcome when someone has as much natural talent as McIlroy.
I'm not going to predict McIlroy will contend for the title at Oak Hill, but I wouldn't be surprised if he did, and he'll definitely play better than he did this week.