Sam Bennett won’t take home any money, let alone the millions awarded to top finishers at the Masters, even if he wins the tournament.
The 23-year-old fifth-year senior at Texas A&M remains an amateur—at least to the degree that word still has any meaning. That means no matter where he finishes, he’s ineligible to collect a check. Whatever money he would have earned goes back into the pot that gets distributed to the pros who made the cut.
Early in the week, Bennett opened up about his father’s battle with Alzheimer’s. In June of 2020, his dad gave Bennet a note that read: —”Don’t wait to do something. Pops.” His father passed a short time later, and Bennett had a tattoo of the note stenciled on the inside of his left forearm where he can see it every time he addresses the ball.
That bit of personal history won him both support and attention before the tournament began, but once play started, Bennett earned even more of both with his game. Grouped with reigning Masters champ and No. 1 ranked Scottie Scheffler and Max Homa, Bennett swung freely and fired at flagsticks. His deft short game and clutch putting pushed him up the leaderboard, and he finished the second round in second place.
His performance so disarmed and inspired that even the press center transcriptionist was feeling him. Consider this snippet of Bennett ‘s post second-round media sit-down:
Q. The person who finished second last year at the Masters made $1.6 million. Is there any part of you that —
SAM BENNETT: (Hangs head.)
Earlier, Golf Channel reported that if Bennett won, he’d turn pro and likely make his PGA Tour debut at either the Charles Schwab Challenge in Texas, his home state, or at Jack Nicklaus’ Memorial Tournament. He may still. Asked if he’d brought any schoolwork along for the week, he quipped, “Yeah, Coach has been bugging me about that.”
Then he added: “I’m not worried about school right now.”
When third-round play halted, Bennett sat in third place at six-under. The Masters announced this year’s payout Sunday morning, and out of the $18 million total, third place is slated for $1,244,000. After dropping back on Sunday, Bennett finished in a seven-way tie for 16th, which paid $261,000 to those eligible. Still, there’s no reason to feel bad for him. When he finally stopped hanging his head over the money he would not win in Augusta, he had a pretty good response:
SAM BENNETT: Yeah, I don’t know, NIL has been pretty good this year.
(This story was updated to add Bennett’s finish.)