Who were the world’s highest-paid golfers in 2022?
The list of the world’s highest-paid golfers last year could see some changes after the 2023 Masters.
The upstart LIV series led by Greg Norman and financed by Saudi Arabia’s $620 billion sovereign wealth fund is a “product” that speaks for itself.
It’s not only faster than the PGA Tour, with a 54-hole format played over three days, but it’s also making more noise, creating more opportunities for golf players, and paying a whole lot of money.
LIV Golf, which is ‘54′ in Roman numerals “has boosted the earnings of the ten highest-paid golfers by an estimated $370 million since May, bringing their combined haul to a record $650 million.”
This basically makes seven of the world’s top 10 highest-paid golfers playing for LIV Golf, with the exception of only Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth.
Related: What’s the prize money payout for the field at LIV Golf Bedminster?
While LIV’s golfers are able to compete in the Masters and three other golf majors, they are allowed in none of the PGA Tour tournaments, nor in the Players Championships or international competition in the Ryder Cup.
Let’s take a look at the world’s highest paid golfers this year, since the creation of LIV Golf.
Who are the world’s highest-paid golfers in 2022?
1 Phil Mickelson - $138 million
On-course earnings: $102 million | Off-course earnings: $36 million
Mickelson might have lost sponsors and went on a four-month, self-imposed lapse following the controversial comments about working with Saudi Arabia and turning his back on the PGA Tour, which suspended his lifetime membership. But he sure did come out as the richest athlete on the planet in 2022. The guy’s making more than Lionel Messi’s $130 million this year.
Related: Why is LIV Golf controversial? Trump’s association with LIV; Barkley’s possible move
2 Dustin Johnson- $97 million
On-course earnings: $68 million Off-course earnings: $29 million
The 38-year-old became the fifth highest-paid athlete in the world after making the move to LIV Golf back in May. His loyal sponsors, Adidas and TaylorMade, rode the wave with him after he resigned from the PGA Tour. According to reports, Johnson’s contract in May included a $62 million signing bonus that helped him get to the $97 million.
3 Bryson DeChambeau- $86 million
On-course earnings: $66 million | Off-course earnings: $20 million
Here’s an interesting fact about the eight-time PGA Tour winner, who was also heavily criticized for joining LIV Golf: DeChambeau has surpassed NFL quarterback Tom Brady’s annual salary with his $86 million. The 28-year-old went from earning $26.2 million in career earnings during his seven years on the PGA Tour, to making $560,000 in his first event with LIV in July.
4 Brooks Koepka- $69 million
On-course earnings: $53 million | Off-course earnings: $16 million
Similar to DeChambeau, Koepka received an enormous guarantee from LIV that gave him the title of the fourth highest-paid golfer in the world this year. The 32-year-old who has won four majors and has developed a famous rivalry with DeChambeau, earns $69 million with the Saudi-backed league, almost making the same as the one and only Tiger Woods.
5 Tiger Woods- $68 million
On-course earnings: $43,500 | Off-course earnings: $68 million
Here’s your first golf player making this list while still loyal to the original PGA Tour, the legendary Tiger Woods. The truth be said that regardless of Woods’ morals and opinion on LIV Golf, the guy doesn’t need Saudi money. He continues to be golf’s only billionaire.
6 Rory Mcilroy- $43 million
On-course earnings: $9 million | Off-course earnings: $34 million
A persistent player, a loyal PGA Tour supporter and a vocal anti-LIV golfer. Mcilroy has made it clear that there’s no room for Saudi’s “blood money” in golf, which Norman doesn’t see that way, and that the PGA Tour is the only real golf out there. It is obvious that the Irishman chooses to be remembered by his word rather than his ranking on the money chart as he makes $9 million on-course with the original golf tour.
7 Sergio Garcia- $42 million
On-course earnings: $35 million | Off-course earnings: $7 million
There’s been some back and forth with the Spaniard’s decision to play golf lately as he hasn’t been “feeling the love” since he’s hopped over to LIV’s side. Besides his fellow Spaniard, Jon Rahm, convincing him to remain a member at the Ryder Cup, so must have the money awaiting him. The 42-year-old makes a nice $42 million that’s hard to just bypass.
8 Jordan Spieth- $39 million
On-course earnings: $8 million | Off-course earnings: $31 million
Here’s another loyal PGA Tour player who’s reassured the golf world that he does not plan on joining LIV Golf. The former No. 1 also remains the face of his sponsor, Under Armour, through 2029. The 29-year-old makes a more modest number as he stays happily where he belongs.
9 Patrick Reed- $37 million
On-course earnings: $34 million | Off-course earnings: $3 million
Now that’s a proud LIV golfer who isn’t afraid to show it. Reed had earned the nickname “Captain America” after appearing in the Ryder Cup for years, but now it looks like he’s “Captain LIV.’ The 31-year-old went it British Open wearing the LIV Golf logo on his hat, collar and sleeve, even though he is now ineligible for the biennial Europe vs. United States contest. None of this seems to matter when you make $37 million though.
10 Charl Schwartzel- $34 million
On-course earnings: $30 million | Off-course earnings: $4 million
LIV Golf’s first pride and joy, Schwartzel was the Saudi-backed league’s first winner in London, making more money for those three days ($4.75 million) than his two-decade career on the PGA Tour.
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