FedExCup: $10 million bonus keeps mega-rich golfers focused

    Story highlights

    • FedExCup awards $10 million bonus to winner
    • Dustin Johnson leads standings
    • Three events left in FedEx playoffs

    (CNN)When you've banked just shy of $50 million in career earnings, what's left to play for? How about another $10 million as a bonus for winning the PGA Tour's end-of-season FedExCup points tally?

    That's the prospect facing world No.1 Dustin Johnson after he beat Jordan Spieth in a playoff at the first FedExCup event Sunday to take his season earnings to $8.4 million.
      The 33-year-old Johnson leads the rankings with three events left in US golf's big-money run-in.
      Stay top, and Johnson will trouser a cool $10 million -- with $1 million deferred to his retirement account -- to add to any additional prize money. The winner's cheque at the Tour Championship is $1.575 million. Finish second in the FedExCup, and the bonus drops to $3 million.
      But Johnson, who missed the Masters with a freak injury on the eve of the event, won't have it all his own way. Open champion and 2015 winner Spieth lies second, with US PGA winner Justin Thomas third.
      Dustin Johnson beat Jordan Spieth in a playoff to win The Northern Trust at Glen Oaks Club on Sunday.

      'Go nuts'

      Johnson, whose sole major so far came at the 2016 US Open, is not known for flamboyant celebrations -- he described his victory first-pump Sunday as "weak" -- but he told reporters at Glen Oaks: "Maybe if I win the FedExCup or something, I'll go nuts."
      The FedExCup series, which began in 2007, is designed to keep alive interest in the PGA Tour right up to the Tour Championship finale in Atlanta.
      Being crowned the best golfer over the season is a goal in itself, but with those sorts of bonuses knocking about, it's not hard for the game's elite to stay focused.
      The 125-man field from last week's Northern Trust tournament was whittled down to 100 for the Dell Technologies Championship in Boston with the top 70 reaching the BMW Championship in Chicago.
      The best 30 will contest the Tour Championship where points are reset to give the 30th-placed player an academic chance of still winning the title.
      For the past seven years, the winner of the Tour Championship has also won the FedExCup, stretching back to 2009 when Tiger Woods won the overall standings despite Phil Mickelson's triumph in the final event.

      'Wouldn't mind winning it again'

      Rory McIlroy scooped both last year, and revealed recently how he has spent some of his windfall.
      "Had a wedding to pay for," he told reporters ahead of the first FedEx Cup playoff event. "We're just renovating a house, so that's going to take up a bit of that, as well. Wouldn't mind winning it again."
      The 24-year-old Spieth, who has earned more than $33 million already in his short career, says the value of the bonus money for him was to reward his team for the sacrifices they make.
      "It means a lot to me," he told reporters, before admitting he also bought a new house.
      "It allows me to now take care of even more so, our team and to keep them wanting to come back to me."

      Billy Horschel reportedly gifted his caddie $1 million after his win in 2014, while McIlroy's caddie -- now ex-caddie - J.P. Fitzgerald was delighted with his 10% share of his boss's winnings.
      "I think his words were, 'A tsunami just hit my bank account, so thank you very much,'" McIlroy told reporters at a subsequent event in China.
      "So the total was $1.05 million. I think he was quite happy."
      Woods won the inaugural FedExCup in 2007 and added a second title two years later.
      The Tour Championship takes place at East Lake Golf Club, Atlanta from Sept. 21-24.