PGA Tour paid Tim Finchem $10 million in bonus money after he retired

AP Photo/Marta Lavandier

PGA Tour paid Tim Finchem $10 million in bonus money after he retired

PGA Tour

PGA Tour paid Tim Finchem $10 million in bonus money after he retired

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While Tim Finchem stepped down as PGA Tour commissioner at the end of 2016, he still was paid more than $10 million in bonus and incentive money, according to the organization’s 990 tax records for 2017.

In 2017, Finchem received $12,216,755 in compensation from the PGA Tour, according to the 990 that was made available by Pro Publica. That total compensation included a bonus of $10,611,113, which included distributions over a “three-year bonus cycle based on long-term objectives achieved over 2014, 2015 and 2016,” according to a PGA Tour spokeswoman. Finchem’s base salary was reported as $906,646 and he received additional compensation of $698,946.

He also received $6.67 million in compensation from related organizations, according to the 990.

Finchem, who retired in late 2016 after taking over as commissioner in 1994, is credited with bringing a financial windfall to the Tour as prize money grew to nearly $300 million during his tenure. That prize money figure did not include the majors.

In 2016, Finchem was paid $4.47 million, which included a base salary of $1.19 million and bonus pay of $3 million. He received another $4.7 million from related organizations, according to tax records. His total compensation from the Tour was $3.99 million in 2015, including bonus pay of $2.7 million. He received another $2 million from related organizations that year.

The former commissioner was by far the highest-paid person listed on the Tour’s tax filings for 2017. Current commissioner Jay Monahan received total compensation of $4.78 million that included a base salary of $998,077 plus bonus and incentive pay of $2.8 million.

Outside of Finchem and Monahan, there were 14 others among the Tour’s officers and highest paid employees who made more than $1 million in 2017. Thomas E. Wade, the PGA Tour’s chief commercial officer, received $3.1 million, according to the tax records.

Players who earned the most prize money were listed as independent contractors. Justin Thomas, the season’s FedEx Cup winner, led the way in 2017 with $17.1 million followed by Jordan Spieth ($11.8 million) and Dustin Johnson ($10.5 million).

Worth W. Calfee, who is the former president of the Web.com Tour, received $1.5 million in compensation, which included a bonus of $784,293.

The PGA Tour has non-profit status that lawmakers have unsuccessfully challenged in the past. To compare the Tour to other pro sports, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell made $31.7 million in 2015, the last year for which his salary was reported.

In 2017, the Tour paid $28.9 million in compensation to current officers, directors, trustees and key employees, compared to $20.5 million in 2016.

Total revenue increased to $1.47 billion, up by about 15 percent over the previous year. Total expenses also grew to $1.41 billion compared to $1.2 billion the previous year. The Tour says its organization and its tournaments generated more than $180 million in charitable donations in 2017.

In revenue, the Tour reported $458 million in TV rights, up from $433 million in 2016. It spent about $212 million on TV/production/broadcast expenses in 2017.

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