Unlike American team sports, individual competitions, like golf tournaments, have real financial stakes mostly based on winning and losing. While plenty of the world’s most prominent golfers make more than enough on endorsement deals alone, their professional income relies solely on how well they perform on the green. As such, the 2021 U.S. Open pool will equal a healthy payday for the golfer lucky enough to hoist the trophy.
The 2021 U.S. Open at a glance
According to CBS Sports, the 2021 U.S. Open will tee off at Torrey Pines on June 17. Over the next four days, new narratives will be born, stars will likely fall, and others will show why they are so dominant in the sport. With so much chaos over the last few years, many of the biggest names remain on top regarding expectations.
According to the oddsmakers, Dustin Johnson is the spot-on favorite with 10-1 odds going in. However, promising dark horses like Jon Rahm (11-1) and reigning champion Bryson DeChambeau (14-1) is not that far behind in the standings, where Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy are right there in the mix where they have always been.
Perhaps, the most surprising odds of all are Phil Mickelson, who, despite winning the Championship, will enter the tournament with 50-1 odds. From aging greats to longshots like the 200-1 Graeme McDowell, the U.S. Open is sure to be a memorable affair. However, the bonus of a bigger payday could make it even more competitive than usual.
What’s the U.S. Open’s purse this year?
According to Golf Digest, the 2021 U.S. Open purse jumped from the $11 million mark of last year’s postponed tournament to $12 million. This money will be spread throughout the talent pool from first place to last. Of course, the golfer who wins will take home a hefty chunk of the total purse; the $2.25 million paydays at this year’s event will be one of the biggest in the sports long history.
Compare that to the inaugural 1916 U.S. Open pool prize of $500 on a $2,580 purse, and it’s safe to say that the sport has grown exponentially in the last 105 years. In the last decade alone, the pool has nearly doubled. The 2009 U.S. Open featured a $7.4 million purse with $1.35 million going to Lucas Glover, who won his first and only major at the lucrative event.
Whether Phil Mickelson can continue his championship success or McIlroy, Koepka, Bryson, or an unknown golfer can usurp the great, whoever wins the prize money will come home with more than most could ever dream of.
How do the U.S. Open winnings compare to other sports?
The U.S. Open is, historically, one of the best-paying individual events in the world. While European soccer dominates the top-earning sports globally, those are often divided amongst large groups of people and put back into the on-field product. While golfers have to spread the money through their caddies and agents, they also get to keep a more significant chunk.
In fact, one of the only events that pay its winner more is the tennis version of the U.S. Open, which paid its winner $3 million in 2020 and may dig even deeper this year. The raise continues a shift in the golf climate, where CBS notes that the winner took home $2.7 million after his late-career win. Regardless, it’s sure to be a fun and lucrative ride for the best golfers in the world.
Now, fans will have to see who uses the money as a motivation to get to the top of the standings and cut that enormous check.