Prestige is all well and good, but 2017 U.S. Open winner Brooks Koepka has more than two million reasons to savour his victory.
True, he had to work four days to earn that $2 million, a paltry $500,000 per day. Compare that to say, Makybe Diva’s ability to win $3.5 million for just over three minutes’ work, which works out to $1 million per minute, roughly.
The big difference is that in golf, the field is typically over 100 strong, whereas a Melbourne Cup runner never has to share the prizemoney with more than 23 others, nine actually, as the top 10 horses earn money, with sixth through 10th being worth $125,000.
Professional golf is much more equitable.
Sixty-six players cashed in for nice paydays, all the way from Koepka’s $2.16 million, down to Hao Tong Li’s $22,722.
Tied for second, Brian Harman and Hideki Matsuyama each earned $1.05 million.
Aussie Marc Leishman, the top finisher from Oz, the only finisher from Oz, for that matter, earned $83,331 despite winding up 15 strokes behind the winner.
The final round was dramatic for the most part, up until the end, when Koepka reeled off three consecutive birdies on 15, 16 and 17. He teed off on the 18th with a three-stroke lead, so he had the pleasure of making that long walk down the long par five while basking in the euphoria of knowing that his life as a professional golfer was to be forever and positively altered.
To look at Koepka from a distance, he is nearly the spitting image of Dustin Johnson, winner of the U.S. Open in 2016. The two are good friends, actually, and despite missing the cut in his defense of the title, Johnson called Koepka to pass along encouragement going into the final round.
Heavy rain on Saturday night, almost 2.5 cm’s worth, made the Erin Hills course, despite being the longest in U.S. Open history, vulnerable, as Koepka’s final score of -16 to par tied the record establish by Rory McIllroy in 2010.