Masters payout - The Masters Tournament Prize Purse: A Comprehensive Analysis of the Payout Structure and Its Evolution Over the Years - 15/Apr/2024

Masters payout – The Masters Tournament Prize Purse: A Comprehensive Analysis of the Payout Structure and Its Evolution Over the Years – 15/Apr/2024

The Masters Tournament Prize Purse: A Comprehensive Analysis of the Payout Structure and Its Evolution Over the Years

The Masters Tournament, one of the four major championships in professional golf, not only captivates audiences with its tradition, exceptional golf, and the beauty of Augusta National Golf Club but also draws attention for its handsome payout to competitors, reflecting the event’s prestige and importance in the world of sports. This article provides an in-depth look at the Masters Tournament payout, discussing its distribution structure, factors influencing the purse size, and how the payout has evolved over time to reflect the growing economy and popularity of golf.

Understanding the Masters Tournament Payout Structure

To comprehend how the prize money is disbursed among competitors at The Masters, it is essential to understand that the total purse is divided in a declining scale among the players making the cut. The winner receives a significant percentage of the purse along with the coveted green jacket, while those at the bottom of the leaderboard earn considerably less.

Distribution Breakdown

The standard practice for distributing prize money at The Masters often follows a set pattern. Generally, the winner receives 18% of the total purse. Subsequent prizes diminish incrementally—2nd place receives around 10.8%, 3rd gets roughly 6.8%, and so on down to the players who round out the field, where each typically gets a fixed amount that decreases as positions go lower on the scoreboard.

Factors Determining Prize Money

Several factors influence Masters Tournament prize money:

Economic Climate and Sponsorship:

The overall health of the economy can impact sponsorship deals and broadcasting rights, which in turn can affect prize funds.

TV and Media Rights

: As broadcasting contracts become more lucrative, a portion of these increased revenues allow for a rise in prize money over time.


: Adjustment for inflation is a consideration over time to preserve or enhance the real value of payouts.

Comparable Tournaments

: To maintain its elite status, The Masters may align or compete with prize pools of other major tournaments.

Historic Prize Purse Growth

Prize money at The Masters has seen a meteoric rise from modest origins in the 1930s. Documentation shows that Horton Smith won $1,500 for his victory at the inaugural event. By 1980, Seve Ballesteros earned $55,000 for his win. In contrast, Dustin Johnson’s groundbreaking win in 2020 yielded an impressive $2.07 million out of an 11.5 million-dollar purse.

Changes Triggered by COVID-19 Pandemic

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic cannot be overstated, as it led to immense economic repercussions across all sectors. The golf industry and events like The Masters were not immune. However, prize money remained comparably generous in 2020 despite hurdles, marking resilience among event organizers and sponsors to uphold The Masters’ reputation.

Comparing With Other Major Championships

When juxtaposed with other majors — U.S. Open, The Open Championship, PGA Championship — payouts vary. Each event’s governing body determines its own purse size with similar distribution methods to The Masters but scale differently based on unique contracts and revenue streams.

Gender Pay Disparity in Professional Golf

While not directly related to The Masters—which is a men’s event—gender pay disparity in professional golf can also crop up during discussions about tournament payouts. Events on the Ladies’ Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Tour traditionally offer less prize money than those on the PGA Tour—a reality check on equity within professional sports.

Controversies and Critiques Surrounding Prize Money

Every now then critiques emerge regarding golf’s distribution of wealth or how prize monies may not be targeting grassroots development. These conversations consider whether enough of golf’s substantial revenues go back into nurturing talent at different levels or contributing to broader societal causes.


  • In 1960, Arnold Palmer won $17,500 for his victory at The Masters; adjusted for inflation, this is equivalent to approximately $150,000 in today’s terms.
  • From its commencement through 2021, there has been consistent year-over-year growth with minor exceptions.
  • At most majors including The Masters, when players tie for a position, their reward is an average of what those positions would have received had they been placed separately.
  • Noteworthy is that apart from earning prize money, winners often enjoy peripheral benefits including endorsements and sponsor bonuses post-victory at such a high-profile event as The Masters.
  • Image Description:

    An elegant photo capturing The Masters’ ceremonial green jacket draped over a chair with a background view of Augusta National Golf Club; in front lies a prominent leaderboard showcasing various players’ names with accompanying scores fading subtly into focus towards the winner.