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Cognizant Classic Payout: Austin Eckroat Secures Maiden PGA Tour Victory with $1.62 Million Prize Money

In a thrilling display of skill and perseverance, 25-year-old Austin Eckroat claimed his first-ever PGA Tour victory at the 2024 Cognizant Classic in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. The young golfer’s journey to success was not without its challenges, as weather delays and a formidable field of competitors tested his mettle over the tournament’s duration.

Eckroat, a former Oklahoma State star, showcased his prowess on the Champion Course at PGA National, finishing the event with an impressive 17-under 267. The final round, which spilled into Monday due to a three-hour-and-30-minute weather delay, saw Eckroat shoot a 4-under 67 to secure a three-stroke victory over runners-up Erik van Rooyen and Min Woo Lee.

The victory was not only a personal triumph for Eckroat but also a lucrative one. The Cognizant Classic boasted a total purse of $9 million, with the winner set to receive a substantial $1.62 million in prize money. This significant cash prize marked a turning point in Eckroat’s professional career, especially considering his total earnings in the last three years amounted to $2,865,822 from 43 events.

Eckroat’s strategic play, including crucial birdies on the 12th and 13th holes, solidified his lead and paved the way for a memorable win. Reflecting on the achievement, Eckroat expressed his joy, stating, “This has always been my dream, to win on the PGA Tour.” The victory not only secured his place in the golfing elite but also granted him coveted tour status for the next two years and an invitation to the prestigious Masters tournament.

The 2024 Cognizant Classic showcased record lows on the Champion Course, with a total of 27 golfers shooting 10-under or better. The course’s difficulty had been a point of discussion in recent years, prompting efforts to make it more golfer-friendly, including adjustments to rough length and hole configurations.

Eckroat’s win adds to the list of first-time winners in the 2024 PGA Tour season, joining the likes of Nick Dunlap, Matthieu Pavon, and Jake Knapp. The victory not only boosts his confidence but also provides him with exemptions into various high-profile events, including the remaining Signature Events.

As the golfing world applauds Austin Eckroat’s breakthrough performance, the focus now shifts to upcoming tournaments, with the Arnold Palmer Invitational and Puerto Rico Open set to tee off on Thursday, March 7. The Cognizant Classic payout has undoubtedly left an indelible mark on Eckroat’s career, signaling the arrival of a promising talent on the PGA Tour.