Professional golfers and professional tennis players are some of the highest earning people in the world. Top players in both sports make many millions of dollars every year and tens of millions of dollars in their careers. But players in which sports make more money in 2015?
To answer that question I’ve gone over the current money lists for 2015 for both PGA golfers and professional tennis players on the ATP circuit. In the recent past I compared women tennis players in the WTA vs women golfers on the LPGA Tour to see if women golfers or tennis players make more money. The answer with the women was very clear cut and without a doubt women tennis players earn far more money than women golfers do.
Interestingly, the same is not true when it comes to the men who make their very good livings playing tennis and golf professionally. You can see what I mean with the stats I’m presenting below. Each sport, golf and tennis, still have one major to go this season plus season ending rich money events yet to be played, so I would say both sports are at a relatively equal place. The PGA Tour does start earlier each season but that cannot account for the major differences in the money earned below.
As of today, July 30, 2015, there are 13 tennis players who have earned over $1 million this year while there are 81 pro golfers on the PGA Tour who have already passed the $1 million mark. So there are over six times the number of pro golfers who have earned over $1 million in 2015 vs the number of men tennis players who have cracked the $1 million mark this year.
The top ten players in tennis have earned a total of $33 million so far this year. The top ten golfers on the PGA Tour have earned $44.6 million this season. So the top ten golfers have earned 35% more money this season than the top 10 pro tennis players have earned. The top prize money winner in tennis, Novak Djokovic, has earned $9.9 million which is a bit more than the top pro golfer this season has earned, Jordan Spieth at $9.2 million.
The 100th ranked pro tennis player on the ATP Tour, Jan-Lennard Struff from Germany, has earned $264,438 so far this season. The 100th ranked golfer on the PGA Tour this season, Hudson Swafford, has earned $834,315. So the 100th ranked golfer on the money list in 2015 has earned over three times what the 100th ranked tennis player has earned on the 2015 money list.
The 200th ranked player on the ATP Tour money list, Gastao Elias from Spain, has earned $77,130 so far this season playing tennis. The 200th ranked PGA golfer on the 2015 money list, Carlos Sainz, Jr. who was born in Chicago, has earned $124,115 so far this season. So the 20th ranked golfer on the 2015 money list has earned 61% more money this season than the 200th ranked tennis pro has.
Except for the top two players, Novak Djokovic has earned $700,000 more than Jordan Spieth so far this season, every other money stat you want to look at clearly shows that PGA golfers make more money in 2015 than pro tennis players do. The top ten players in golf have collectively earned 35% more money than the top ten players in tennis have. Over six times the number of golfers have earned over $1 million so far this season vs the number of tennis pros making over $1 million. The 100th ranked money golfer this season has earned three times what the 100th ranked tennis player has and the 200th ranked golfer has earned 61% more money than the 200th ranked tennis pro.
The most surprising thing about the money stats for PGA golfers and pro tennis players is how polar opposite the money stats are compared to the women LPGA golfers and women pro tennis players. Women tennis players make far more money than women golfers on the LPGA Tour do. And far more women make their living playing professional tennis than playing golf. Readers can draw whatever conclusions they want from those stats.