You are here:

Pro Golfing/amateur winner


If an amateur wins a PGA event, and 2 pros tie for second, how do they determine the prize money? Would the 2 pros play-off for the 1st. place money?

Hello Robert;

It is a simple answer.

The amateur wins and retains the title and trophy for one year!

No, there would not be a playoff.  1st place is 1st place.

Mickelson won his first tour event as an amateur, That was in 1991, the same year he won the NCAA and The US Amateur.  Bryson DeChambeau is the current US Am / NCAA Champion until Monday, I believe that is the day he will turn professional... or so I have been informed.  But this is not written in stone yet. I think he might still have an exemption to the US and British Opens due to his 2nd place tie at the Australian Masters this year.  He would have to forfeit any current exemptions if he turns pro right now.  To me that's a bad bet!

There are several scenarios each depending on how the committee sets the rules of payment.
1. 1st and 2nd place monies are combined then split equally.
combining prize money is a common practice.  They do it in other
positions so why not 1st place as well.  Common Practice, and I do know from personal experience, that they more likely pull or combine winnings from the bottom up rather than top down.  1st place monies are almost always guaranteed.  The standard I have seen the most is, if there are two or more people tied for a position, the committee applies and combines then divides those respective positions and moves money from the bottom up equally.

2. Then again, I have also heard where it happened and the committee voted to not pay out first place since it was not won by a professional.  So payout began with second place. (seems to me that I also heard something somewhere about a lynching)(in either case, glad I wasn't there).

3. I have also heard of it where all prize monies dropped down 1 slot.

I would more vote for the previous ones of #1 or #3, as normal 1st place payouts range anywhere from 20 to 50 percent of the purse, I would also think that any committee not paying out would look suspicious as what do they do with the monies.  Some of them already look suspicious enough.

I would guess in that case, the committee could also take the prize money add it back into the pool and distribute equally.  They have a specific calculation to make it fair for all.

I am certain there are a plethora of other ways it could be done, though it is all up to the committee hosting the event.  

I hope this gives you some things to think about.

Happy Golfing and have a great day.
Robb Nunn, PGA Professional

Pro Golfing

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Robb Nunn


Anything about golf, the golf industry. I can also answer general business and employment issue questions. I only request this. Please No Rules Questions. Should you need answers to rules questions please refer to this free website. just copy and paste this link into your browser.


PGA Professional with over 30 plus years in golf industry
Former General Mgr, Head Professional, Director of Golf, Director of Instruction.
Played professionally on nine different tours, 4 continents.
Have built and assisted design on 3 driving range facilities and redesigned 3 golf courses.

PGA Of America
Professional And Motivational Speaker

American Chronicles E-Zine Articles Numerous different golf publications and newspapers.

PGA Business Schools I / II Certified Club fitter Certified Teacher

Awards and Honors
Past Champion All Pro - All heart Pro-Am Presidents Council on Growth of the Game

©2017 All rights reserved.