The prize money offered by the PGA Tour increased in the 2022/23 season as it tried to stave off the threat of LIV Golf and persuade its best players to stay with the more established circuit.
With regular designated events offering purses of $20m, that increased the earning potential of the players who stayed loyal to the PGA Tour. From early on, it appeared inevitable that someone would surpass Scottie Scheffler’s record earnings of $24,796,910 following his T2 at the Tour Championship that concluded the 2021/22 season.
The early running was made by Jon Rahm, who had already amassed $12,826,540 following his Masters win in April. However, that was the last time the Spaniard was to taste victory in the season, leaving the door open for someone to catch him.
One of those players was Viktor Hovland, who was quietly going about his business while Rahm was setting the PGA Tour alight with four wins in the opening months of the year.
All the while, there were signs that the Norwegian was putting together a memorable year, which included a T2 at March’s Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass, which earned him $1.96m, and a $3.6m payday for his victory at The Memorial Tournament three months later.
Meanwhile, Scheffler was compiling another excellent season too, with victories in the WM Phoenix Open and Players Championship earning him $8.1m. Indeed, it was the Texan who finished on top of the PGA Tour’s money list for the 2022/23 season having earned $21,014,342 – almost $7m ahead of Hovland, who finished third behind Rahm.
There was another twist, though, courtesy of the bonus money available at the Tour Championship, which concluded the FedEx Cup Playoffs. At East Lake, Hovland claimed the trophy and, with it, another $18m.
That took Hovland’s earnings to $32,112,235, but there was more to come. The 26-year-old banked another $1.4m for finishing seventh in the Comcast Business Tour top 10, which rewards the top players in the FedEx Cup standings at the end of the regular season. That took the total to an incredible $33,512,235, over $7m higher than Scheffler and $12m more than Rahm.
As it was a wraparound season, you would need to take off Hovland’s earnings from the 2022 part of it to get the figure strictly for 2023. If you do this, the total comes down to $32,800,805 on the PGA Tour.
However, Hovland also played a couple of times on the DP World Tour in 2023, earning $381,600 for his finish of fifth in the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth and another $910,000 for his T2 at the DP World Tour Championship.
That takes his total earnings for 2023 to $33,710,805, swelling to $34,803,835 if you include the tournaments Hovland played during the 2022 part of the PGA Tour season.
So, how had Hovland been enjoying his incredible earnings for the year? He was asked that at the DP World Tour’s season-closer In Dubai: “Not necessarily materialistic things,” he explained. “I took my mum to a nice trip to Malta and we went there and hung out, ate good food and checked out some places and sightseed a little bit, so that’s the stuff that’s cool.”