One putt for $11 million? It might happen today on the PGA Tour

September 27, 2009 | Drew Forrester

One putt for $11,350,000? 

Hell, I’d like to try and make one putt for $1,350.00.

Today in Atlanta – weather permitting – the TOUR Championship concludes and one player – from a list of about 6 or 7 – could face a putt on the final green worth $11.35 million.

Now that’s what I’d classify a “knee-knocker”.

For guys like Tiger and Phil Mickelson, it’s just another $11 million in the bank.

And for virtually every guy with a chance to win, they’re still eating the $42 filet at their favorite steak place whether or not they claim the $11 mil or not.

But an $11 million payday for someone like Steve Stricker would put the finishing touches – financially – on what has been a very good career. 

The question, of course:  Would he make the putt?

Playing for someone else’s money is always a lot easier than playing for your own.

I’ve been involved in a few rounds of golf where the stakes got a little high and when it’s your own wallet you’re digging into when the day ends, the make-or-miss routine is a little different than if I were playing for $1,000 that someone else put up.

But $11 million is still $11 million and none of the PGA Tour players want to call home and tell her, “Were you watching?  I missed a putt at 18 that cost us $11 million.”  Even Tiger, aka “Golf in America, doesn’t want to send Elin a text and have to write: “missed from 10 ft at 18, only won 750k instead of 11mil, fire one of the chefs”

I’ll give the TOUR credit.  I wasn’t a big fan of the FedEx Cup thing when it was first launched.  I thought it was nothing more than a contrived method to get the best players to play four straight weeks at the end of the season.  It DID accomplish that this year, as Tiger is now on week #4, something he almost never, ever does.  Now, though, after a few tweaks here and there over the last few years, the concept of a golf “playoff” is seemingly workable.  Six or seven guys could win the $10 million “playoff winner’s check” plus the $1.350 million payoff for winning the event itself.  

When a handful of guys on the back nine on Sunday have four-foot putts that could mean the difference between $500,000 and $11,350.000, that’s worth watching.

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