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19th Hole

Bryson reveals the cut-off point on money list where players make an annual loss on Tour



With the prize money on the PGA Tour rising all the time, the world’s best take home more money than ever, but you may be surprised by just how thin a line it is from being comfortable to making an annual loss.

Speaking on the Full Send podcast this week, Bryson DeChambeau revealed that any player outside of the top 165 on the Tour’s money list is losing money every year.

Asked to breakdown why that is, Bryson explained how as independent contractors, life is very costly on Tour:

“We’re independent contractors. We’ve got to pay for all of our expenses—every hotel we have to pay on our own, food etc. You do everything yourself. And you’ve got a family to feed. And you’re missing cuts. And when you miss a cut, you make nothing. 

You think it’s great (on Tour), but once you start getting into the nitty-gritty and it’s your livelihood, it’s a very interesting scenario.”

Bryson added that players in the top-125 in the money list are having “a great life”, but that he feels “so bad” for the guys 165 and up, and those also on the Korn Ferry Tour.

The 28-year-old admitted that it “depressed” him when he missed his opening 14 cuts on Tour but that he was fortunate to have sponsors and explained what the gruelling process is for players struggling to find their best stuff on Tour.

“When you go an do these three-week stints, and you miss all three cuts, and you’re grinding Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and you go Thursday and Friday and miss the cut, and you got the weekend off, but you’re still grinding Saturday, Sunday because you’ve got to get good for the next week. And you still can’t find your game, and you’re still not doing well because there are so many players that are way better than you, and you’re still missing cuts.”

To put Bryson’s statement into context, the 166th player on the 2020 PGA Tour money list made $486,337 in earnings, which shows that, if accurate, earning half a million dollars on Tour each year likely only allows a player to break even.

You can check out the entire episode of Bryson on the Full Send pod here.

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Gianni is the Managing Editor at GolfWRX. He can be contacted at [email protected]



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  5. EastpointeCC

    Oct 23, 2021 at 3:43 pm

    If this were 100% accurate then there wouldn’t be a champions tour or an LPGA tour. Their prize pools are a fraction of the PGA tour. The LPGA get basically 0 sponsor dollars as compared to PGA.

    • Kn

      Nov 1, 2021 at 2:55 am

      You’re wrong. Players get help. They ARE getting help. Such as some family money, being able to stay with a host family for free, the networks they have access to have people who can help, they room with a few people in such a place with other players etc. You know nothing

  6. CJ5

    Oct 15, 2021 at 10:20 am

    Max Homa addressed this on the NLU podcast this week and he agreed that it is very expensive, but that the break even point can be less than $400k and was in his case as he was coming up. That said, it is a lot of money to make it on tour.

  7. Michael McGee

    Oct 13, 2021 at 3:20 pm

    I used to live in the same neighborhood as a PGA pro, he’s in the top 100 on the money list, and he mentioned how fast all the money goes having to stay at your best, and how he really felt the pressure when he wasn’t making the cuts because it was zero income for months if he hit a bad streak, it wasn’t until he made the top 100 that he felt comfortable with his wife taking a break from working. I find it comical that all of you that think they can just cut out the support staff that helped get them to get to the PGA tour, the whole game is about getting that edge to move up, they aren’t going to say peace to their coach and anyone else that keeps them going.

    • Jack

      Oct 14, 2021 at 10:14 pm

      If anything, they need even more support once they make it to stay there. People don’t understand the amount of commitment and talent it takes to make it. This is no regular job. Being average (or even below average in many jobs which doesn’t mean you’ll get fired) doesn’t cut it.

    • dttruman

      Dec 31, 2021 at 4:19 pm

      Maybe that’s why it’s so expensive to have a “sort” of team. Back in the olden days a pro golfer figured out his swing problems and almost everything else by himself. Back then players practiced on their own and didn’t need a swing coach or someone to motivate them to practice. But the one thing I like about today’s touring pros (and it’s was mentioned in other comments) that many have learned to offset their expenses in many creative and friendly ways.

  8. jgpl001

    Oct 13, 2021 at 6:01 am

    Good to see him point this out, the reality is lost on most people.
    About 20 years ago I was at a European Tour event with my father and we were staying in a B&B for the week. By chance we met one of the players at breakfast one morning and we ended up bringing him and his caddy to the course and back for the week. He told me he was a 4th place reserve and borrowed the plane fare and accommodation money from his sister. We stopped every morning at the local shop so the caddy could buy packet sandwiches, chocolate bars and cans of coke….
    He didn’t have any club sponsorship and I remember discussing with my father how much better my bag was compared to his…
    Delightfully he made the cut and about 10 years later he became a PGA Tour winner and had a decent US career.
    I will never forget that week and what its really like on the outer edges of the tour and I really admire the struggle and the sacrifices of these guys
    PS – ALL pro’s on ALL tours should at least have OEM club sponsorship, it wouldn’t hurt any OEM one bit

  9. Jerry

    Oct 9, 2021 at 11:27 am

    I am glad Bryson is pointing this out. The powers that be need to spread the wealth around more. I am not sure what the big wigs at the PGA make but the NFL top honchos make insane money. I bet the NBA and MLB are the same. This money for players doing social media could have been also shared with Korn Kerry and other feeder tour.

    My friend is one a feeder tour and he is starving. He may have to go back making minimum wage folding shirts in the pro shop. Sad.

    • Ken McMurray

      Oct 10, 2021 at 4:51 pm

      As with all professional leagues, the top guys that actually are the crowd drawing force are under paid, the journeymen are vastly over paid…

      • zim

        Oct 17, 2021 at 3:34 am

        This makes zero sense.

        • AC

          Nov 22, 2021 at 2:15 pm

          I don’t agree that this is the case in golf since money is based largely on winnings, but it is absolutely true in football/baseball/basketball or any league with a salary cap and minimum.

          Think about it–LeBron James or Steph Curry likely is worth $500M+ each to the league in terms of drawing power and their teams would be in the basement without them, but their salary is capped at $50M or so a year. A journeyman on a minimum contract is easily replaceable for what they do on the court and they don’t draw much fan interest, but the minimum salary is say, $2M.

          Is a superstar player worth only 25x more to the league (or to their team, in terms of skills on the court) than a minimum salary player? No, they’re irreplaceable and worth way more, so in that sense they are underpaid versus their “true worth”. But on the other hand, if you didn’t have a minimum salary, you would have a much harder time fielding an actual league with enough players to make it viable.

    • DB

      Oct 21, 2021 at 1:56 pm

      Completely agree. Since the PGA Tour is a “Non-profit” LOL, they had to release their staff pay a few years ago. It was obscene.

  10. Joseph

    Oct 8, 2021 at 8:18 pm

    when i was a teen in the late ‘60s, the leading money would earn about $100k. Outside of top 8-10, not making money under $50k. What isn’t mentioned in this interview is sponsorships, appearances, which many of the top 200 earn in hundreds of thousands. Plus there were no courtesy cars, free hotels or netjets deals in the olden days. Gene Littler once told me he would get $25 (not k!) per tournament in that era to wear an Amana hat. He made a whole hundy if he won.

    • LongJohnPeter

      Oct 10, 2021 at 5:59 pm

      I guess you missed the part where he explains they have to pay for their own transportation and hotels, but whatever…

    • Tyler Durden

      Oct 12, 2021 at 9:57 pm

      You know 100k in 1965 is about 860k today right?

    • brian

      Oct 23, 2021 at 5:28 pm

      ok boomer

  11. Hunter Warne

    Oct 8, 2021 at 10:41 am

    This seems spot on. Take out roughly 50% for taxes. Then you have transportation, caddie fees, food and other expenses. Plus most of those guys have a house and expenses at home as well. You could cut corners and save some money, but it’s not the glamourous life the guys inside the top 100 are living.

    • David T

      Oct 8, 2021 at 12:41 pm

      Expenses are tax deductible

      • JT

        Oct 8, 2021 at 2:09 pm

        Yeah I was like S this ain’t France.. yet..

      • Jeff

        Oct 10, 2021 at 7:48 pm

        I don’t think most people understand what it means to be tax deductible. You only get the tax you paid refunded it’s not like the government is giving them their entire travel expenses back.

        • CC

          Oct 12, 2021 at 1:33 am

          I don’t think you understand what it means to be tax deductible. You get to subtract allowable expenses from your total taxable income to get to adjustable gross income. That’s where most tax credits come into play. It’s also the amount that you pay taxes on.

          • Mike

            Oct 24, 2021 at 11:05 am

            Agree. Why do you think all these athletes set up ‘foundations’? Every $ spent can be charged there & is thus a tax deduction.

  12. Troy

    Oct 8, 2021 at 10:32 am

    So earning $486 means the 166th ranked tour pro and his family are burning through $9,346 per week? Seems like perhaps poor money management is more of an issue than poor golf!

    • Troy

      Oct 8, 2021 at 10:33 am

      Obviously, I meant $486k not just $486.00!

    • Chris Cortez

      Oct 8, 2021 at 1:02 pm

      Hardly. Means that $486k has to pay for taxes, multiple employees, all travel and lodging, food on the road, and a salary (or something) for the player to support themselves and their family.

      $486k sounds like a lot of individual income. Doesn’t sound like a lot of small business income, which is what a pro golfer is.

      Also remember: you also have to pay state taxes anywhere you earn money. Win in Texas, not California!

      • JT

        Oct 8, 2021 at 2:11 pm

        You have to spend a significant amount of time in that state.. CA HI would be problematic w so many key events, TX FL not so much w no state income tax

        • Mo

          Oct 8, 2021 at 10:07 pm

          You have to pay income tax in each state that you make money in. True for all athletes.

  13. ski_co

    Oct 8, 2021 at 10:05 am

    Skip the Four Seasons and stay at Motel 6 – no Ruth’s Chris – Mickey D

  14. Shane Quimby

    Oct 8, 2021 at 9:54 am

    Where is the evidence for this statement? Bryson is a bloward who makes statements with no basis in fact (and he has a garbage understanding of the physics he claims to know), and people print it and believe it. He has no idea what the guys on the bottom of the list pay for travel, etc. If you are not making much money, you spend less because you are cautious. That’s how life works. This site can’t possilby need the clicks enough to print this nonsense.

    • Milo

      Oct 8, 2021 at 10:01 am

      Too much hookers and blow.

    • Erock

      Oct 8, 2021 at 10:24 am

      Yea let’s trust a rube who hasn’t touched the PGA Tour vs someone who has been successful and is still on Tour. Shutup loser.

    • Brent

      Oct 8, 2021 at 5:14 pm

      “no basis in fact” Says the numbskull who is at his keyboard and can’t break 110, about a guy who has literally been on tour for years. Stay in your lane genius.

      • Momo

        Oct 8, 2021 at 7:29 pm

        He’s right though. Bryson regularly speaks out his rear side to sound smart. Mr. Academic probation is a wannabe smart guy. It’s pathetic.

    • Robin

      Oct 8, 2021 at 7:38 pm

      Right off the top, you’ve got minimum 10% to your management team (agent, cpa, etc.),6-10% to your caddie, swing coaches generally get 5%, 30-45% to the tax man and the expenses of traveling 35 weeks a year, including international travel and $468k disappears very quickly. It’s not about Bryson, it’s just math.

      • Keanu

        Oct 8, 2021 at 8:57 pm

        People ranked at top end of pga tour don’t need an agent, everyone needs a cpa. Your on the pga tour, don’t need a swing coach 4 days a week and you don’t have to give them 5% lol unless you are a top player working with someone like Butch and have them on speed dial to fly and see you. You don’t pay income tax in many states, that’s why most live in Florida. Everyone has to pay for food, many people get takeout everyday. Many get RV’s so they don’t have to stay on holiday inn express many weeks. They aren’t living rough on $468,000 a year, I can tell you that.

        • You’re Dumb

          Oct 8, 2021 at 9:52 pm

          How stupid are you to think that top PGA players don’t have or need agents? Who exactly do you think is negotiating all of their sponsorship deals? Majority of agencies do all of the accommodation bookings for the players as well.

          • Marty

            Oct 8, 2021 at 10:15 pm

            Guys that are higher up on the tour don’t needs agents that much. You don’t have them on pay roll by any means, your thinking of Tiger woods and Bryson level players who can afford and require that type of support

          • Marty

            Oct 8, 2021 at 10:19 pm

            Those unknown players ranked higher up don’t need agents that much for sponsorship deals etc.,your thinking of Tiger woods and Bryson type players.

          • Marty

            Oct 8, 2021 at 10:23 pm

            Top players he probably means those ranked higher up like 150, those players do not need an agent that much for sponsorship deals etc. You’re thinking of players like Tiger and Bryson

            • Jack

              Oct 8, 2021 at 10:30 pm

              Not to mention, agents used for sponsorship deals are making the player more money, Ha

    • MG

      Oct 8, 2021 at 7:49 pm

      Where did Bryson hurt you?

    • Tyler Durden

      Oct 12, 2021 at 10:04 pm

      Wow, some idiot on the internet knows more than DeChambeau who actually has done what he’s talking about.

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19th Hole

Report: Major champ in shock split with long-time caddie



Even the most seemingly ideal player/caddie relationships don’t last forever, with news emerging this week of a very surprising split.

As first reported by the Irish Independent, Shane Lowry has split with long-time looper Brian ‘Bo’ Martin with sources saying that the pair had lost their “spark” or “chemistry.”

Per the report, the two had been considering going their separate ways for weeks, and after an inconsistent start to the new season, Lowry has decided to shake things up.

The pair enjoyed plenty of success during their relationship, with the high point coming at an emotional Open victory for the Irishman at Royal Portrush in 2019.

However, things did not appear all rosy between the two in recent times, most notably at the 2022 Masters, when Shane delivered an on-course rant at this caddie, who he blamed for a poor layup decision.

The 35-year-old is now in the market for a full-time caddie and will likely want to snap up one soon, with the Ryder Cup coming later in the year.

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19th Hole

Phil Mickelson believes he’ll be able to play PGA Tour events again a lot sooner than you would think



In a new wide-ranging interview with Bob Harig of Sports Illustrated, Mickelson has been speaking on a renewed focus, not interfering with rows between tours and his peace with being where he is in terms of a return to the main tours.

The 52-year-old said that he is “in fantastic shape. I’ve never had injuries. I’ve made changes. I’m just putting last year out of my mind and disengaging. A lot of stuff happened, and I’m refocused on today and starting the year.”

Confirming he still has the desire to compete at the highest level, Mickelson told Bob Harig, “I’m in every major for the next three years and I think I have a chance to win one or two more and create these accomplishments that haven’t been done at this stage. I feel like I can duplicate Kiawah.”

Kiawah was, of course, the venue at which Mickelson became the oldest-ever major champion, an event he was forced to withdraw from last season, and therefore unable to defend his sixth major.

He still believes he has what it takes, saying, “Now that I’ve had this time off, I’m ready to have a special year and do some things that have never been done by a player my age. That’s really what is driving me. It’s a unique opportunity nobody else has ever had.”

Mickelson maintains he still has good friends on both sides of the tour versus tour row, telling Harig:

“The relationships that are going to be affected were not really close and were more acquaintances. Their views are going to be altered by public perception or whatnot. The friends are still close.”

He is keen to forget what has happened, preferring not to comment on the current McIlroy/Reed saga – “That’s between them. That’s not really my thing or anything I want to get into,” but says he is fine with any decision regarding his own future on the PGA Tour.

“If I were never to play another PGA Tour event, I’m totally at peace with it,” confirmed Lefty.

“But I believe by next year I’ll have the opportunity if I want [due to the pending litigation]. I don’t know if I’ll have the time.”

“I’m playing 19 events and don’t know how much more. I’d actually rather scale down the number of tournaments, because I’m also in the four majors. That’s a lot of golf.”

“But,” he said, I’m motivated and excited to get started. All of these things create new energy. Having teammates to push each other. I’m motivated, but I don’t see the benefit to playing more. The tournaments where you are going to leave a mark are the majors. That creates a life memory. If I win another Tour event, who cares? It’s not like it’s going to do anything for how I look at my career. Another major would be a unique, special moment. That’s really where I want to thrive. And sure, it would mean a lot to win some LIV events because of the role I’ve played as it’s been created.”

As with a handful of European tour players, there was a time when specific names would almost certainly be Ryder Cup captains.

Harig asked Mickelson how it felt to maybe not finish his own Ryder Cup legacy in a similar vein:

“I’m totally comfortable. … I’ve loved being part of the Ryder Cup as a player 12 times and as a vice captain once. I’ve had more great experiences than probably anybody. If I’m not a part of it, I’m at peace with that as well. And I’m proud of the role I’ve played in that. And the role in creating change and integrating player input and involvement. Having more continuity from year to year. I like seeing us play our best golf in the Ryder Cup, even if I’m not ever part of it again.”

Lefty speaks about his role at LIV, how he likes that, “we’re bringing golf to different parts of the world. And LIV has some of the greatest characters in the game. Controversial characters. Good or bad, love them or hate them, people are interested in them, positively or negatively,” and also comments on the current OWGR world rankings, saying, “This one has lost any credibility.”

Ultimately, it appears Mickelson has had enough of the fighting, and summed it up by answering how he would look back on this period in a few years.

“It’s a short-term disruption for a long-term gain. That’s all.”

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19th Hole

Phil Mickelson says it’s harder to win on LIV than PGA Tour in wild (and amusing) Twitter return



Phil Mickelson is active once again on Twitter and is spicing things up in typical Lefty fashion.

There are tomes now written about the 52-year-old since last May, when he pulled out of the defence of his PGA Championship crown,  joined LIV, justified the choice, and spoke of never taking part in an interview with Alan Shipnuck. Each story providing its own element of Lefty as we know him.

Over the weekend, Mickelson posted a tweet that most interpreted as a dig at the PGA Tour’s non-shorts policy, saying:

Then the three-time Masters champ has ramped it up, going after the world number one, Rory McIlroy. In a back-handed compliment, Lefty requested that viewers “see if he can finish it off,” while capitalizing the word “Dubai” and making sure everyone knew the event was being held in the middle east.

The replies were biting but, let’s face it, quite amusing!

To the comment that his career has been loaded with Sunday chokes, especially in majors, Mickelson replies, “I have won 6 though,” a jibe at McIlroy with four majors and none since 2014?

Of course, with less than a month to the start of the 2023 LIV calendar, it is time to ramp up interest again, particularly with a brand new broadcasting agreement.

Mickelson even made a cheeky claim that LIV events are tougher than PGA Tour events, since he’s yet to win on LIV but has “won 45 of those PGA thingies.”

Whatever Mickelson might or might not say and how much we are to believe him, he’s doing the job of generating noise if not interest.

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