Masters prize money: How the purse and winner’s share has evolved over the years

The Masters prize purse and winner’s payout have changed a lot over the years. We look at The Masters prize money year-by-year.

Winning the Masters has long been one of the most coveted achievements in this great game. However, the prize hasn’t always been as lucrative as it is in 2024. Augusta National opened its gates for the first Masters to be played there in 1934, and every year since (barring 1943-1945) the best golfers in the world have ventured down Magnolia Lane in the hope of being crowned the Masters Champion.

The Masters hasn’t always been as glamorous and rich in history and tradition as the tournament we know and love today. When Horton Smith won the first playing of the Masters in 1934, he was awarded $1,500, a sizeable portion of the $5,000 purse. This was the same first prize for all the Masters Champions until 1942 – before the event was canceled from 1943-1945 due to WWII.

Sam Snead was the first Masters Champion to receive a Green Jacket in 1949

All winners from 1934-1948 were paid handsomely compared to other events on the PGA Tour, but they weren’t awarded a Green Jacket. The first Masters Champion to receive one of the now famous Green Jackets was Sam Snead when he won his first Masters in 1949. As well as being honored with a Green Jacket, which had previously been reserved only for Augusta National members since 1937, Snead received a cheque for $2,750 – first place’s share of the $11,000 purse.

The purse surpassed the $100,000 mark for the first time at the 1961 Masters tournament, the first of three Masters victories for South Africa’s Gary Player. That year Player was the recipient of $20,000, this remained the winning payout for the following eight years, despite the fluctuating purse.

Ben Crenshaw became the first Masters Champion to earn over $100,000 for his victory

The first Masters Champion to be paid out more than $100,000 for their victorious performance around Augusta National was Ben Crenshaw in 1984. By 1984, the purse had increased to $612,900. Only four years later, in 1988, were the players fighting it out for the largest cut of the first-ever $1,000,000 purse at the Masters. That year, it was Scotland’s Sandy Lyle who emerged victorious and earned $183,800.

Mark O’Meara was the first Masters Champion to win over half a million dollars for his success in 1998, taking home $576,000. It only took three years after 1998 before the winner of the Masters was awarded over one million dollars, a certain Tiger Woods was the first recipient of a seven-figure payout at Augusta National – $1,008,000.

After his Masters victory in 2001, Tiger Woods became the first champion to be awarded more than $1,000,000 for his efforts

In 2015, the purse reached $10,000,000. Masters Champion of 2015, Jordan Spieth earned himself an 18% cut of that purse ($1,800,000). Following possibly one of the greatest comebacks in sporting history (definitely one of the best Sundays at the Masters we’ve ever been treated to), Tiger Woods clinched his fifth Masters victory, for which he earned the first multi-million payout, taking home $2,070,000.

When Jon Rahm won the Masters in 2023, he became the first Masters Champion to receive a cheque north of three million dollars, this was helped by the fact that the purse had risen to $18,000,000. In total, the Spaniard was awarded $3,240,000 – $35,000 more than the other three Spanish winners of the Masters have received combined.

Jack Nicklaus is the proud owner of six Green Jackets but for his victories around Augusta National he's only received $269,000

Despite winning the Masters six times, Jack Nicklaus only received $269,000 for all of those victories. That’s $1,000 less than the amount won by Fred Couples in 1992, who’ll be competing once again this year. The entire field will be dreaming of slipping into the Green Jacket on Sunday and cashing in that winner’s cheque – but only one person will prevail.

While the money is a massive bonus for winning the Masters, there is so much more at stake, take a look at everything the Masters Champion wins. All of the champions listed below have realized how life-changing being victorious around Augusta National is – who’ll etch their name into history in 2024 and make their way back down Magnolia Lane with a Green Jacket?

YearMasters ChampionPrize MoneyPurse
2024Scottie Scheffler$3,600,000$20,000,000
2023Jon Rahm$3,240,000$18,000,000
2022Scottie Scheffler$2,700,000$15,000,000
2021Hideki Matsuyama$2,070,000$11,500,000
2020Dustin Johnson$2,070,000$11,500,000
2019Tiger Woods$2,070,000$11,500,000
2018Patrick Reed$1,980,000$11,000,000
2017Sergio Garcia$1,980,000$11,000,000
2016Danny Willett$1,800,000$10,000,000
2015Jordan Spieth$1,800,000$10,000,000
2014Bubba Watson$1,620,000$9,000,000
2013Adam Scott$1,440,000$8,000,000
2012Bubba Watson$1,440,000$8,000,000
2011Charl Schwartzel$1,440,000$8,000,000
2010Phil Mickelson$1,350,000$7,500,000
2009Angel Cabrera$1,350,000$7,500,000
2008Trevor Immelman$1,350,000$7,500,000
2007Zach Johnson$1,305,000$7,418,464
2006Phil Mickelson$1,260,000$7,000,000
2005Tiger Woods$1,260,000$7,000,000
2004Phil Mickelson$1,117,000$6,000,000
2003Mike Weir$1,080,000$6,000,000
2002Tiger Woods$1,008,000$5,600,000
2001Tiger Woods$1,008,000$5,600,000
2000Vijay Singh$828,000$4,600,000
1999Jose Maria Olazabal$720,000$4,000,000
1998Mark O’Meara$576,000$3,200,000
1997Tiger Woods$486,000$2,700,000
1996Nick Faldo$450,000$2,500,000
1995Ben Crenshaw$396,000$2,200,000
1994Jose Maria Olazabal$360,000$2,000,000
1993Bernhard Langer$306,000$1,700,000
1992Fred Couples$270,000$1,500,000
1991Ian Woosnam$243,000$1,350,000
1990Nick Faldo$225,000$1,250,000
1989Nick Faldo$200,000$1,000,000
1988Sandy Lyle$183,800$1,000,000
1987Larry Mize$162,000$867,100
1986Jack Nicklaus$144,000$785,000
1985Bernhard Langer$126,000$700,793
1984Ben Crenshaw$108,000$612,900
1983Seve Ballesteros$90,000$500,000
1982Craig Stadler$64,000$367,152
1981Tom Watson$60,000$362,587
1980Seve Ballesteros$55,000$359,949
1979Fuzzy Zoeller$50,000$299,625
1978Gary Player$45,000$262,402
1977Tom Watson$40,000$280,477
1976Raymond Floyd$40,000$200,000
1975Jack Nicklaus$40,000$242,750
1974Gary Player$35,000$229,549
1973Tommy Aaron$30,000$224,825
1972Jack Nicklaus$25,000$204,649
1971Charles Coody$25,000$125,000
1970Billy Casper$25,000$125,000
1969George Archer$20,000$100,000
1968Bob Goalby$20,000$100,000
1967Gay Brewer$20,000$165,000
1966Jack Nicklaus$20,000$100,000
1965Jack Nicklaus$20,000$100,000
1964Arnold Palmer$20,000$130,000
1963Jack Nicklaus$20,000$112,500
1962Arnold Palmer$20,000$110,000
1961Gary Player$20,000$110,000
1960Arnold Palmer$17,500$87,000
1959Art Wall Jr.$15,000$75,000
1958Arnold Palmer$11,250$60,000
1957Doug Ford$8,750$45,000
1956Jack Burke Jr.$6,000$30,000
1955Carry Middlecoff$5,000$25,000
1954Sam Snead$5,000$25,000
1953Ben Hogan$4,000$20,000
1952Sam Snead$4,000$20,000
1951Ben Hogan$3,000$15,000
1950Jimmy Demaret$2,400$12,000
1949Sam Snead$2,750$11,000
1948Claude Harmon$2,500$10,000
1947Jimmy Demaret$2,500$10,000
1946Herman Keiser$2,500$10,000
1942Byron Nelson$1,500$5,000
1941Craig Wood$1,500$5,000
1940Jimmy Demaret$1,500$5,000
1939Ralph Guldahl$1,500$5,000
1938Henry Picard$1,500$5,000
1937Byron Nelson$1,500$5,000
1936Horton Smith$1,500$5,000
1935Gene Sarazen$1,500$5,000
1934Horton Smith$1,500$5,000

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About the author

James Hogg is a Golf Equipment Writer for Today's Golfer, with expert knowledge in putters, golf balls, and apparel.

James Hogg – Golf Equipment Writer

James has a degree in English Language from Newcastle University and an MA in Journalism from Kingston University.

He spent seven years working for American Golf as part of the sales and fitting team alongside his studies and is a specialist in putters, golf balls, and apparel.

James took up golf as a teenager and, thanks largely to his length and consistency off the tee, he plays off a handicap of 4.7 at Cleveland Golf Club.

You can contact James via email for loads more golf equipment insight.

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