According to Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods displays his major trophies in his living room.
Tiger’s PGA Tour trophies?
“They’re around somewhere,” he told McIlroy. His mom might “have a couple.”
Dustin Johnson displays his U.S. Open Trophy in a glass casing. His PGA Tour trophies are in moving boxes around his house (which he moved into years ago.)
Give any world top-ranked player some truth serum, and they will tell you that PGA Tour event wins are meaningless in terms of legacy, other than the aggregate number under the W column. PGA Tour events simply fill the schedule between majors, and act as a way for players to qualify for the majors – all while earning some big cash.
To the top players, the majors are the ONLY things that matter.
No one ever debates how many Charles Schwab Challenge’s Jordan Spieth will win in his career. Or who’s the all-time best Travelers Championship player.
Let’s be honest, no one really cares about the FedExCup. Most golf fans know that Tiger has claimed 15 majors. They probably have no clue that he’s won two FedExCups.
No player in PGA Tour history has put a spotlight on the meaninglessness of PGA Tour events more than Brooks Koepka.
Most major champions of the past had plenty of motivation to win on the PGA Tour as the major purses weren’t what they are today.
Not for Brooks Koepka.
In the 2017, 2018 and 2019 seasons, spanning 11 major starts (he was injured for the 2018 Masters), Brooks Koepka won four times, finished in the top 5 three other times, added one more top 10, and two additional top 15s.
In those 11 major starts, Koepka earned $11,717,750. Yes. Over $1 million per start.
During that same three-season timeframe, in 51 regular PGA Tour starts (the non majors), Koepka earned another $10,672,700. He teed it up 40 more times and still earned less than he did in 11 major starts.
On Sunday, despite still favoring a bum knee, Koepka finished runner-up, and earned another $1,056,000 along with 50 world-ranking points (12 more OWGR points than Jordan Spieth picked up for WINNING the Valero Texas Open, and 14 more than Matt Jones was awarded for his victory at the Honda, etc).
With those wins and top-end finishes, Koepka’s big-game aura continues to grow which allows the 31-year old to earn even more cash in off-course endorsement deals.
For Jack Nicklaus, the PGA Tour built his bank account, while the majors created his legacy.
For Brooks Koepka, the majors do both. And thus make PGA Tour events almost seem like meaningless pre-season tournaments, albeit with big money prizes.