Rory McIlroy Just Tripled Jack Nicklaus’ Career Earnings With 1 Paycheck

It sure is a good day to be Rory McIlroy.

The Northern Irishman just won the 2022 Tour Championship to take home $18 million, the most lucrative cash prize in PGA Tour history. Thanks to the largest payday of his career, McIlroy has now racked up more than $100 million in on-course earnings if you include the FedEx Cup Playoffs.

Incredibly, McIlroy’s $18 million check is more than three times what Jack Nicklaus earned in his entire career on the PGA Tour.

Rory McIlory wins the Tour Championship and $18 million

After McIlroy triple bogeyed his first hole of the 2022 Tour Championship and followed it up with a sloppy bogey, he fell back to even par and 10 strokes back of Scottie Scheffler before the leader even teed off. It seemed his chances of winning the $18 million FedEx Cup grand prize were already dead, but that’s why you never count McIlroy out.

The 33-year-old battled back from his rough start to shoot a 3-under 67 in the first round at East Lake Golf Club. He followed it up with another 67 on Friday and a blistering 63 on Saturday. Still, McIlroy stood six strokes back of Scheffler entering Sunday’s final round.

No problem.

McIlroy fired a final-round 66 and made a clutch par on the 18th hole to outduel Scheffler by one stroke in the end. The World No. 4 left East Lake with his third Tour Championship victory, another FedEx Cup title, and the largest cash prize in PGA Tour history of $18 million.

Not too shabby for a Sunday afternoon.

McIlroy tripled Jack Nicklaus’ career earnings with one paycheck

Rory McIlroy celebrates after winning the 2022 Tour Championship.
Rory McIlroy celebrates after winning the 2022 Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club | Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images

Prize money in professional golf has changed dramatically over the years. Winners on the PGA Tour routinely earn $2-$3 million today, whereas tournament purses totaled only a couple hundred thousand dollars decades ago.

Even though Nicklaus won 73 PGA Tour events and 18 major championships throughout his career, the golf legend retired with just $5.73 million in on-course earnings. McIlroy more than tripled that total in one day on the links.

Rory will never catch Nicklaus in terms of accomplishments on the course, but he has the Hall of Famer beat easily when it comes to career earnings.

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