You won’t believe how many golfers have earned $10 million on the PGA Tour without winning an event

April 23, 2024

Looking at the PGA Tour’s career money list to determine the relative success of a player’s career is mostly a futile endeavor. Sure, Tiger Woods at No. 1 with $120-plus million makes sense, but Jack Nicklaus with $5,734,031—which ranks him a mere 357th all time—does not.

The clearest evidence at how skewed prize money has become in the modern era is this simple statistic: There are 17 golfers who have earned $10 million of more in their PGA Tour careers without ever winning a tour event. To put that in perspective, Ben Crenshaw (19 wins, two majors) earned a little more than $3 million in his career. Lee Trevino (29 wins, six majors) about $6.5 million. Johnny Miller (25 wins, two majors) around $7 million.

Still, banking $10 million without winning means you’ve had some longevity and some skill. You’re not getting to that level by missing cuts and finishing T-48 every week. Here’s a tip of the cap to these 16 men who’ve made a killing by being slightly above crushingly mediocre.

How he got to $10 million: Hearn started the 2021-22 season on a minor medical extension, his last start coming in the 3M Open in July. His T-58 finish earned him $14,718, which just inched him over the $10 million mark to join the list. For five straight years, 2012-16, the Canadian banked more than $1M.

Close calls: Hearn has twice lost in a playoff when trying to get his first PGA Tour win: at the 2013 John Deere Classic, where Jordan Spieth shot a closing 65 and then took home his maiden victory; and at the 2015 Greenbrier Classic, where Danny Lee was the victor in a four-way showdown with Hearn, Robert Streb and Kevin Kisner.

Close calls: Wi lost by one to David Toms at the 2011 Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial after holding a one-shot lead through 54 holes, but it’s the 2012 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am that hurt. Wi had a three-shot lead after three rounds but finished two behind Phil Mickelson, shooting 72 in the final round to Lefty’s 64. Sorry, Charlie.

Close calls: Before jumping to LIV Golf in August, and subsequently being suspended by the PGA Tour, Varner had frequently put his name on leader boards in the early rounds only to play inconsistently on the weekends. Twice he was out front entering the final round, most recently at Harbour Town in April 2022, but he wound up tied for third, one of two career third-place finishes. Hilton Head Island, coinidentally, was the scene for his best finish on tour, a T-2 in 2021.

Close calls: Hossler has three runner-up finishes to his credit, two back in 2018 in his first full year on tour. The most recent was in 2023 at the Zozo Championship, where he held the 36-hole lead only to see Collin Morikawa pass him on the weekend. He also held the 54-hole the lead with teammate Wyndham Clark at the 2023 Zurich Classic of New Orleans, only to finish T-3, one of two career third-place finishes.

Close calls: Shot 67 to come up one shot short of Michael Bradley at the 2009 Puerto Rico Open and fell by the same margin to Retief Goosen at the Transitions Championship a week later. In 2004, he was tied for the 54-hole lead at the U.S. Bank Championship in Milwaukee but lost by two to Carlos Franco. Quigley never really kicked one away as he shot no worse than 69 in his five runner-up finishes. Meanwhile, in February, four months after turning 50, Quigley won on the PGA Tour Champions.