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Ryder Cup prize money: How much do players get paid for winning the golf event?

The Ryder Cup returned for the first time in three years on Friday, 24 September.

In Whistling Straits in Wisconsin, USA, Team Europe and Team USA are already battling out to win the 43rd edition of the famous competition.

Team USA are the favourites to win on home soil, but the cup can be unpredictable.

Since the cup was expanded in 1979 – the previous edition of the competition originally included matches between the USA and Great Britain (and briefly Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland) – Europe have 11 wins to the USA’s eight.

Brit Lee Westwood has made the team for a record 11th appearance.

How much will players earn?

United States golfer Patrick Reed reacts to his putt on the ninth green during the Ryder Cup Saturday Morning matches, 2018
The last edition of the Ryder Cup was held in 2018 in France at Le Golf National

Unlike so many sporting tournaments, the Ryder Cup prioritises the pride of winning the tournament over any pay cheque.

The tournament is now so famous that it draws in a sizeable chunk of broadcasting money and sponsorship deals to the tune of several million dollars, but players remain unpaid.

Team Europe will be paying for their team member’s travel expenses and outfits.

Golfers Tony Jacklin (left) and Severiano Ballesteros (right) celebrate the victory of the European team in the Ryder Cup matches at Muirfield Village, Ohio, 27th September 1987. (Photo by Simon Bruty/Getty Images)
Golfers Tony Jacklin (left) and Severiano Ballesteros (right) celebrate the victory of the European team in 1987

European captains also offer gifts to their players, this year this was the responsibility of Irishman Padraig Harrington.

This was a tradition started in 1983 by golfing legend and former captain Tony Jacklin.

Team USA receive $200,000 from the Professional Golfers’ Association of America (PGA of America), but it is in the form of a donation. 50% will go to a charity of the golfer’s choice and the other 50% to Boys & Girls Club of America, Drive, Chip, and Putt Championship, and PGA Junior League Golf.

Where does the money go?

KOHLER, WISCONSIN - SEPTEMBER 22: (L-R) Patrick Cantlay of team United States, Bryson DeChambeau of team United States, Harris English of team United States, Tony Finau of team United States, Dustin Johnson of team United States, Scottie Scheffler of team United States, Daniel Berger of team United States, Brooks Koepka of team United States, (Front L-R) Collin Morikawa of team United States, Justin Thomas of team United States, captain Steve Stricker of team United States, Jordan Spieth of team United States and Xander Schauffele of team United States pose for a team photo prior to the 43rd Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits on September 22, 2021 in Kohler, Wisconsin. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

According to Today’s Golfer, the money made by the cup goes to each of the relevant golfing organisations responsible for the teams. This is the PGA of America and the PGA European Tour.

“When the event is played in the United States, such as this year’s match at Whistling Straits, the PGA of America owns the rights to the events and takes the majority of the profits (just under 84%, with just over 16% going to the European Tour).

“When the event is hosted in Europe, as it will be in 2023, the European Tour claims 60 per cent of the profits.”

The lack of pay has caused trouble before.

In 1999, after the “Battle of Brookline” in which Team USA won by 14 1/2 to 13 1/2, several golfers questioned where the money went.

Tiger Woods, Mark O’Meara, Phil Mickelson and David Duval managed to have an input on striking a deal with the PGA of America, which is why the money is now given to charity.

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Ryder Cup prize money: How much do players get paid for winning the golf event?
Anurag Reddy
I'm a 29-year-old travel enthusiast, travel and nature photographer, Computer Science graduate, and Mass Communication student. I have seen different shades of life through traveling and lived different lives through reading. With every word I write, I travel within, and I understand myself better. Writing helps me discover myself, and that paved roads for me to choose writing as a profession.


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