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McIlroy beats Woods to PGA Tour’s $15m PIP prize

World number two Rory McIlroy has beaten Tiger Woods to the PGA Tour’s $15m (£11.9m) prize for generating the most media interest in 2023.

Northern Ireland’s McIlroy pipped the 15-time major winner to top spot on the tour’s ‘Player Impact Programme’ (PIP).

Woods won it in 2021 and 2022 despite his injury-hit playing schedule.

McIlroy takes top spot for the first time two weeks after saying “something had to give” when he resigned from the tour’s Policy Board.

The PIP, introduced in 2021, was designed to reward players who generate the most interest in the PGA Tour, with metrics such as Google searches, news article mentions and social media reach taken into account.

McIlroy, who finished second to Woods in 2022, tops the PIP list after capturing his fifth DP World Tour Race to Dubai title earlier this month. Woods earns $12m (£9.5m) for finishing second.

McIlroy, 34, was unable to defend his FedEx Cup title on the PGA Tour, however, finishing fourth behind Viktor Hovland, Xander Schauffele and Wyndham Clark, who also denied McIlroy a fifth major title at the US Open in June.

Masters winner Jon Rahm earns $9m (£7.2m) for finishing third, with three-time major winner Jordan Spieth and world number one Scottie Scheffler rounding out the top five.

England’s Tommy Fleetwood collects $5m (£4m) for finishing tied seventh alongside Hovland, Justin Thomas and Max Homa.

Next year, the Player Impact Programme’s bonus pool will be $50m (£39.9m) between the top 10 players, a change from the $100m (£79.8m) that was awarded to the top 20 this year.

Woods, 47, will return to action this week after seven months out in the Hero World Challenge, an event he hosts in the Bahamas, having recovered from ankle surgery.

Woods and McIlroy are also fronting a new virtual golf competition called TGL, the start date for which was pushed back one year to early 2025, after its facility in Florida sustained serious damage after a power outage.

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