Throwback Thursday: Watson breaks PGA Tour money landmark

The Scoop

Tom Watson dominated the PGA Tour in 1980 and won some serious money in the process.

The Background

Tom Watson headed into the World Series of Golf having already won six events on the PGA Tour adding to his Open championship title (pictured above) from earlier in the year.

The 30 year-old was looking to become the leading money winner on the PGA Tour for the fourth consecutive year with Jack Nicklaus the only player in with a chance of catching him.

The Scene

Watson opened up with a round of 65 at Firestone but a second round of 75 gave the field a chance.

Unfortunately for Nicklaus, he pulled a back muscle on the range forcing him to withdraw and ending any sort of hope for an end of season title tilt.

Watson bounced back regardless, shooting two more 65’s in his third and fourth rounds to win the event by two strokes.

The victory meant Watson became the first player to win over $500,000 in prize money in a single season on tour.

The Legacy

The prize money Watson won back in 1980 (equivalent to £2.3m in today’s money) is peanuts compared to what is on offer to the modern day tour player.

The majority of winners on the PGA Tour can win over $1 million for just a single tournament on the schedule with a handful of events offering less than that.

A great example of the inflation in prize money is 2017 Open runner-up Matt Kuchar.

The 39-year-old has never won a major title throughout his career but seven wins on tour and plenty of high placed finishes have seen him earn over a whopping $40 million in career earnings.

A remarkable feat!

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