The first Masters champion won $1,500 in 1934—here's how much the winner could earn this year

Tiger Woods during a practice round prior to The Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 08, 2019
Andrew Redington | Getty Images Sport | Getty Images

The 2019 Masters Tournament kicked off on Thursday at the Augusta National Golf Club and will finish on Sunday, April 14.

Besides donning the coveted green jacket, the winner of the first golf major of the year will take home a big paycheck.

While the club hasn't released the exact amount of prize money that the 87 professionals are vying for in 2019, it will be no less than the $11 million that was divvied up at last year's tournament, Golfworld reports. In 2018, Patrick Reed earned $1.98 million, the standard 18 percent of the total pot, for his win in Augusta.

The prize money, which is split between all of the professionals, is distributed depending on how they place. In 2018, the second place finisher collected $1.19 million (10.8% of the total), while $748,000 (6.8% of the total) went to the third place finisher.

This year's champ will earn much more than Horton Smith did after winning the inaugural Masters in 1934: He took home $1,500, which would be about $28,000 in today's dollars.

More than a decade later, in 1946, the total purse increased for the first time: It doubled from $5,000 to $10,000, and the winner, Herman Keiser, earned $2,500.

Since then, the prize money at the prestigious tournament has increased significantly. The champion earned six figures for the first time in 1984 when American Ben Crenshaw took home $108,000. And in 2001, Tiger Woods earned $1 million, becoming the first winner to earn seven figures.

Regardless of whether or not the 2019 Masters purse increases from $11 million, here's how it will be split between the top finishers:

First place: 18% of the total purse
Second place: 10.8% of the total purse
Third place: 6.8% of the total purse
Fourth place: 4.8% of the total purse
Fifth place: 4% of the total purse
Sixth place: 3.6% of the total purse
Seventh place: 3.35% of the total purse
Eighth place: 3.1% of the total purse

After two rounds of play, the field gets narrowed down to 50 competitors, all of whom receive a percentage of the purse. Fiftieth place, for example, takes home 0.25%, which would amount to $27,500 of an $11 million total.

Those who don't make the 36-hole cut earn the least but are still paid something: $10,000.

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