Andrew Redington/Getty Images
  • We ranked the top 30 golfers of all time based on career earnings on the PGA Tour and European Tour combined.
  • Not surprisingly, Tiger Woods is at the top and it is not even close.
  • There are a lot of names that would likely surprise most fans, even near the top of the list.
  • For more articles, go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

Professional golfers can have careers that are highly lucrative.

Their careers can last well into their 40s and 50s and there are events nearly year-round with tours all over the world. That means lots of opportunities to take home a paycheck.

Below, we take a look at the 30 highest-paid golfers of all time. The list is skewed towards recent players, but there is a mix of both current and previous generations, as well as both PGA Tour and European Tour greats.

Both PGA Tour and European Tour earnings include winnings from majors and WGC events. However, those events are only counted once in each golfer's total earnings.

30. K.J. Choi - $34.4 million (R502.6 million)

Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images

Nationality: South Korea

PGA Tour earnings: $32.7 million (R477.8 million) 

European Tour earnings:  €5.6 million (R97.4 million)

Major championships: 0

Overall wins: 9

29. Brandt Snedeker - $39.8 million (R581.5 million)

Darren Carroll/Getty Images

Nationality: United States

PGA Tour earnings: $39.3 million (R574 million)

European Tour earnings:  €5.0 million (R86.9 million)

Major championships: 0

Overall wins: 10

28. Stewart Cink - $39.9 million (R574 million)

Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images

Nationality: United States

PGA Tour earnings: $39.8 million (R 581 million)

European Tour earnings:  €9.1 million (R158.2 million) 

Major championships: 1 (2009 Open Championship)

Overall wins: 8

27. Charles Howell III - $40.8 million (R596 million)

Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Nationality: United States

PGA Tour earnings: $40.7 million (R595 million)

European Tour earnings:  €2.7 million (R46.9 million)

Major championships: 0

Overall wins: 3

25. Rickie Fowler - $41.8 million (R611 million)

AP Photo/Eric Gay

Nationality: United States

PGA Tour earnings: $39.3 million (R574 million)

European Tour earnings:  €10.2 million (R177 million)

Major championships: 0

Overall wins: 7

24. David Toms - $42.0 million (R614 million)

Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Nationality: United States

PGA Tour earnings: $41.9 million (R612 million)

European Tour earnings:  €8.0 million (R139 million)

Major championships: 1 (2001 PGA Championship)

Overall wins: 15

26. Jordan Spieth - $44.7 million (R653 million)

Getty Images

Nationality: United States

PGA Tour earnings: $44.3 million (R647 million)

European Tour earnings:  €11.1 million (R193 million)

Major championships: 3 (2015 Masters, 2015 U.S. Open, 2017 Open Championship)

Overall wins: 14

23. Paul Casey - $47.3 million (R691 million)

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Nationality: England

PGA Tour earnings: $33.3 million (R487 million)

European Tour earnings:  €21.0 million (R365 million)

Major championships: 0

Overall wins: 16

22. Padraig Harrington - $45.1 million (R659 million)

Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Nationality: Ireland

PGA Tour earnings: $25 million (R365 million)

European Tour earnings:  €26.1 million (R454 million)

Major championships: 3 (2007 and 2008 Open Championship, 2008 PGA Championship)

Overall wins: 21

21. Ian Poulter - $45.9 million (€38.5 million)

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

Nationality: England

PGA Tour earnings: $26.6 million (R389 million)

European Tour earnings:  €26.2 million (R456 million)

Major championships: 0

Overall wins: 15

20. Steve Stricker - $44.8 million (R671 million)

David Cannon/Getty Images

Nationality: United States

PGA Tour earnings: $44.8 million (R655 million) 

European Tour earnings:  €8.1 million (R141 million)

Major championships: 0

Overall wins: 13

19. Retief Goosen - $44.7 million (R653 million)

Michael Cohen/Getty Images

Nationality: South Africa

PGA Tour earnings: $31.3 million (R457 million)

European Tour earnings:  €22.1 million (R385 million)

Major championships: 2 (2001 and 2004 U.S. Open)

Overall wins: 21

18. Zach Johnson - $46.9 million (R685 million)

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Nationality: United States

PGA Tour earnings: $46.9 million (R685 million)

European Tour earnings:  €9.5 million (R165 million)

Major championships: 2 (2007 Masters, 2015 Open Championship)

Overall wins: 26

17. Davis Love III - $44.9 million (R656 million)

Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images

Nationality: United States

PGA Tour earnings: $44.9 million (R656 million)

European Tour earnings:  €6.8 million (R118 million)

Major championships: 1 (1997 PGA Championship)

Overall wins: 22

16. Bubba Watson - $48.2 million (R704 million)

AP Photo/Ryan Kang

Nationality: United States

PGA Tour earnings: $46.5 million (R679 million)

European Tour earnings:  €12.4 million (R216 million)

Major championships: 2 (2012 and 2014 Masters)

Overall wins: 16

15. Jason Day - $48.8 million (R713 million)

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

Nationality: Australia

PGA Tour earnings: $48.6 million (R710 million)

European Tour earnings:  €12.1 million (R211 million)

Major championships: 1 (2015 PGA Championship)

Overall wins: 17

13. Luke Donald - $49.5 million (R723 million)

Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Nationality: England

PGA Tour earnings: $36.4 million (R532 million)

European Tour earnings:  €18.3 million (R138 million)

Major championships: 0

Overall wins: 12

14. Lee Westwood - $51.9 million (R758 million)

Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Nationality: England

PGA Tour earnings: $23 million (R336 million) 

European Tour earnings:  €38 million (R661 million)

Major championships: 0

Overall wins: 44

12. Matt Kuchar - $53.8 million (R786 million)

AP Photo/Ng Han Gua

Nationality: United States

PGA Tour earnings: $52.6 million (R769 million)

European Tour earnings:  €10.6 million (R184 million)

Major championships: 0

Overall wins: 10

11. Henrik Stenson - $53.9 million (R788 million)

Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images

Nationality: Sweden

PGA Tour earnings: $30.4 million (RR444 million)

European Tour earnings:  €31.6 million (R461 million)

Major championships: 1 (2016 Open Championship)

Overall wins: 17

10. Adam Scott - $63.2 million (R923 million)

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Nationality: Australia

PGA Tour earnings: $56.1 million (R820 million)

European Tour earnings:  €20.3 million (R353 million)

Major championships: 1 (2013 Masters)

Overall wins: 31

6. Ernie Els - $66.8 million (R697 million)

Chris Jung/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Nationality: South Africa

PGA Tour earnings: $49.3 million (R720 million)

European Tour earnings:  €31.2 million (R543 million)

Major championships: 4 (1994 and 1997 U.S. Open, 2002 and 2012 Open Championship)

Overall wins: 47

8. Sergio Garcia - $68.7 million (R1 billion)

Ross Kinnaird/Getty

Nationality: Spain

PGA Tour earnings: $52.7 million (R770 million)

European Tour earnings:  €31.2 million (R543 million) 

Major championships: 1 (2017 Masters)

Overall wins: 35

4. Jim Furyk - $71.4 million (R1 billion)

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Nationality: United States

PGA Tour earnings: $71.4 million (R1 billion)

European Tour earnings:  €14.1 million (R245 million)

Major championships: 1 (2003 U.S. Open)

Overall wins: 18

5. Justin Rose - $71.7 million (R1 billion)

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Nationality: England

PGA Tour earnings: $54.7 million (R799 million)

European Tour earnings:  €27.1 million (R471 million)

Major championships: 1 (2013 U.S. Open)

Overall wins: 21

9. Dustin Johnson - $72.7 million (R1.1 billion)

AP Photo/Eric Gay

Nationality: United States

PGA Tour earnings: $71.2 million (R1 billion)

European Tour earnings:  €18.8 million (R327 million)

Major championships: 2 (2016 U.S. Open, 2020 Masters)

Overall wins: 34

7. Rory McIlroy - $75.3 million (R1.1 billion)

Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Nationality: Northern Ireland

PGA Tour earnings: $54.9 million (R802 million)

European Tour earnings:  €36.9 million (R462 million) 

Major championships: 4 (2011 U.S. Open, 2012 and 2014 PGA Championship, 2014 Open Championship)

Overall wins: 32

3. Vijay Singh - $75.9 million (R1.1 billion)

Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Nationality: Fiji

PGA Tour earnings: $71.4 million (R1 billion)

European Tour earnings:  €14.4 million (R250 billion)

Major championships: 3 (1998 and 2004 PGA Championship, 2000 Masters)

Overall wins: 34

2. Phil Mickelson - $94.6 million (R 1.4billion)

Julio Cortez/AP

Nationality: United States

PGA Tour earnings: $92.3 million (R1.3 billion)

European Tour earnings:  €27.7 million (R482 billion)

Major championships: 5 (2004, 2006, and 2010 Masters, 2005 PGA Championship, 2013 Open Championship)

Overall wins: 54

1. Tiger Woods - $127.2 million (R1.9 billion)

Ryan Kang/AP

Nationality: United States

PGA Tour earnings: $120.8 million (R1.8 billion)

European Tour earnings:  €47.5 million (R826 million)

Major championships: 14 (1997, 2001, 2002, 2005 and 2019 Masters, 1999, 2000, 2006, and 2007 PGA Championship, 2000, 2002, and 2008 U.S. Open, 2000, 2005, and 2006 Open Championship)

Overall wins: 121

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