Week in and week out, players on the PGA Tour are playing for gigantic purses and huge paydays.
While the likes of Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and Tiger Woods — and Brooks Koepka (no offense, Brooks!) — don’t have to worry about their bank accounts anymore, for the rank and file of the PGA Tour, the difference between a few spots on the leaderboard can make a huge difference.
While the cliche answer to the question of what these guys are playing for is trophies, the honest truth — when it’s able to be pried from them — is that money has a lot to do with the decision-making down the stretch, as Joel Dahmen admitted following his runner-up finish at this past week’s Wells Fargo Championship.
Asked if he was considering the monetary implications of his shots down the stretch as he trailed eventual winner Max Homa by three shots, Dahmen was honest.
“Yes, of course,” he said afterward, according to Golf.com. “I had four or five feet for 5 on 16, I’m solo second, I’m aware where that is (on the leaderboard).”
Dahmen made the putt on 16 to stay in second place, and he was able to scramble for another par on 17 before coming up the daunting 18th hole at Quail Hollow Club. A decent drive up the left side of the fairway left him 210 yards from the hole, and a decision to make.
“On 18 my caddie wanted me to play it safe, but I thought if I snuck a 3 in there and Max hit it in the lake, I could come back around,” Dahmen said.
Dahmen yanked his second shot left of the green, but thankfully, also left of the creek guarding the green. He was left with a relatively simple chip from inside 40 feet that he hit to tap-in range.
“(My caddie) is over here laughing at me,” Dahmen said. “I had such a huge break, and actually, it’s a pretty easy chip there, but I was certainly aware of what was at stake, absolutely. I mean this was my biggest paycheck by $500,000 maybe. I mean, it’s ridiculous what I just won today, absolutely ridiculous.”
What he made was $853,200, but if he had failed to get up and down or worse, found the water, that payday would have shrunk considerably.
A bogey would have cost him $158,000 and a double bogey would have dropped him into solo fourth place, which was $474,000 less than what he ended up cashing.
Regardless of his huge payday, Dahmen got hit right in the face with some reality on Monday as he tweeted out his unfortunate seating situation on his return flight home.
— Joel Dahmen (@Joel_Dahmen) May 6, 2019