Tiger Woods defeated Rory McIlroy in the PGA Tour Player Impact Program top prize race
Tiger Woods winning a golf event in 2022 would be a remarkable thought at the start of the year, but he will have to settle for a big victory on the course. Woods finished first in the PGA Tour’s Player Impact Program for the second year in a row, this time just ahead of his friend and business partner Rory McIlroy, according to the Associated Press.
Woods was ranked No.1
Last year despite not playing a single competitive round of golf on the PGA Tour. This first place was worth $10 million; however, this one was significantly more as the total purse for PIP was increased from $40 million in 2021 to $100 million in 2022, as PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan stated earlier this year at the Tour Championship. Woods played just nine rounds in 2022, but each one received significant attention from everyone in the golf world, which is generally how we rank high in the annual PIP. He played four Masters, three PGA Championships, and two Open Championships in St. Andrews.
Reward across the board
The Tour increased its rewards across the board this year and until 2023. Not only did it take the PIP fund from $40 million to $100 million, but it also expanded the pool of beneficiaries from 10 to 20, won several $20 million PGA Tour purses, and continues to invest in the FedEx Cup prize pool (it went from $15 million a year ago to $18 million this year).
Woods has had a chance to win the award again since he mocked Phil Mickelson on Twitter after Mickelson bragged about winning the 2021 award when he didn’t actually win.
McIlroy received $12 million for finishing second, bringing his annual PGA Tour earnings to around $40 million. That’s important because it’s almost twice as much as he’s ever earned. His previous career highs were returned in 2019 when he won the FedEx Cup and $15 million in first prize money and another $8 million in the regular season.
As pointed out in the AP, two rubrics were used to determine PIP this year.
There were two lists in play – the original PIP plan, which used metrics such as social media engagement, brand exposure, Q-rating, internet searches, and awareness, and the new criteria, which leans more heavily on media mentions and exposure in broadcasting than social media.
The PIP was also expanded to 20 players instead of 10 and using both rosters for 2022, about 23 players are expected to receive bonus money from the $100 million program.
This influx of money was built to combat LIV Golf and players who left the PGA Tour due to significant raises from moving from the Tour to LIV. Interestingly, one of the LIV attendees actually had one of the best views of Tiger and PIP I’ve seen. Pat Perez talked about it at the Genesis Invitational in February, when he was still on the PGA Tour.
Give Tiger that 40 [million] and let’s say we owe you another zero.
He owes Tiger easily $400, $500 million. There should be no program. There you go, here’s 50, thanks for being incredible, here’s the money you owe because you’ve brought us hundreds of millions of dollars. Guys like me, to be able to make, you know, a couple of million dollars a year is unbelievable and it’s just because of him. It’s just because of him, you know. I said I’m in line with Tiger. But if Phil is pushing for more money for our tour and fighting for it, that would be great, but he seems to be so on the Saudi side that it’s hard to believe he’s actually fighting for it.”
The top 20 players in this year’s PIP are expected to play the Tour’s new elevated schedule in 2023, which includes 13 non-majors with massive prize money and seemingly all the top players in the world. McIlroy and Woods were instrumental in making the tie happen during their meeting in Delaware during the FedEx Cup playoffs earlier this year.