He didn’t play much, but he still moved the needle.
Tiger Woods was No. 1 in the 2022 PGA TOUR Player Impact Program (PIP) for the second straight year, the 82-time TOUR winner earning the top impact bonus of $15 million.
Rory McIlroy, who won the FedExCup for an unprecedented third time, returned to world No. 1, and over the weekend captured the DP World Tour’s Race to Dubai, finished second ($12 million).
A memo with the results went out to players early Tuesday afternoon.
Jordan Spieth ($9 million), Justin Thomas ($7.5 million), Jon Rahm ($6 million), Scottie Scheffler ($5.5 million), Xander Schauffele ($5 million), Matt Fitzpatrick ($5 million), Will Zalatoris ($5 million) and Tony Finau ($5 million) rounded out the top 10.
The second-year PIP program paid out to the top 20 finishers, double what it did in its first year. However, three additional players who would have made the list under the slightly amended criteria that will go into effect in 2023 were also recognized, bringing the total to 23.
The program is designed to reward members who – through objective measurement criteria – are shown to generate the most positive interest in the PGA TOUR. In addition to expanding from 10 to 20 players, payouts were expanded to $100 million.
The 2022 PIP ranking was based on objective, third-party data measurement of:
1) Internet Searches: Number of times a player’s name is searched using Google
2) Earned Media: Number of unique news articles that include a player’s name
3) TV Sponsor Exposure: Duration (time) that a player’s sponsor logo(s) appeared on screen during Saturday and Sunday PGA TOUR telecasts
4) Awareness: A player’s general awareness score among broad U.S. population
5) Social Media: Social media score that considers a player’s reach, conversation and engagement metrics
Nos. 11-20 on the list were made up of Collin Morikawa ($3 million), Shane Lowry ($3 million), Kevin Kisner ($3 million), Max Homa ($3 million), Billy Horschel ($3 million), Rickie Fowler ($2 million), Adam Scott ($2 million), Jason Day ($2 million), Patrick Cantlay ($2 million) and Viktor Hovland ($2 million).
Because the criteria will be slightly modified for 2023, and three additional players – Hideki Matsuyama (11), Cameron Young (15), and Sam Burns (20) – would have qualified with those adjustments, they made this year’s list and will each earn $2 million.
Woods, who will be 47 at the end of next month, continues to recover from injury. He has teed it up three times in 2022, making the cut at the Masters Tournament (47th), making the cut again but withdrawing with leg pain after three rounds at the PGA Championship, and missing the cut at The Open Championship.
He was not in the field for the BMW Championship in August, but flew to Wilmington, Delaware, for a transformative player meeting prior to the start of the tournament.
And his on-course activity is about to get much busier. Woods will play in the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas, Dec. 1-4, and will also be tournament host. He will make another appearance in “The Match,” the made-for-TV golf competition he has helped popularize, this time with partner McIlroy as they take on unbeaten Presidents Cup duo Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas in a 12-hole tilt under the lights at Pelican Golf Club in Belleaire, Florida (TNT, 6 p.m.).
Woods also could make his third straight appearance with son Charlie at the father-son PNC Championship at Ritz-Carlton Golf Club Orlando, Grande Lakes, Dec. 15-18.
McIlroy, 33, is coming off a wildly successful season that returned him to the top of the game.
After missing the Valero Texas Open cut in April, he fell to No. 27 in the FedExCup, but was runner-up at the Masters the following week. A long-delayed, successful title defense at the RBC Canadian Open, which hadn’t been played since 2019, further fueled his remarkable season.
At the TOUR Championship, he began six behind Scottie Scheffler, and after a terrible start – triple-bogey, bogey – he rallied to beat Scheffler by one for an unprecedented third FedExCup title. McIlroy’s Sunday 66 allowed him to make up a six-shot deficit over the final 18 holes.
He ended the year as golf’s No. 1, regaining the top spot in the Official World Golf Ranking with his victory in THE CJ CUP in South Carolina, and then, over the weekend, adding the DP World Tour’s season-long points title to his FedExCup title.