What PGA TOUR players splurge on after a win
August 13, 2019
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
- After winning the 2012 FedExCup, Brandt Snedeker splurged on an ice machine. (Stan Badz/PGA TOUR)
Sports cars, now that’s a given. Even high-powered, all-terrain trucks. New houses, too.
But ice machines? How many PGA TOUR players would splurge on an ice machine?
More than you might think. Take Brandt Snedeker, the 2012 FedExCup champion, for example.
“When I won the FedexCup I said, what am I going to do? How am I'm going to treat myself?” Snedeker recalls. “I just want one of those Sonic ice machines for the house. I just love that ice. My kids love it now, so that's what I did.”
Webb Simpson beat Snedeker to the punch, though. Or should we say, crunch? He also used part of the money he earned for his first win on TOUR at the 2011 Wyndham Championship to buy an ice machine.
“I grew up with a crushed ice machine, right?” Simpson explains. “Like the shaved ice, like the good kind, and they were expensive and so I said you know what, I could get one of those, but I want to earn it. So, when I won the Wyndham, that's what I bought myself.”
And being the connoisseur that he is, Simpson quickly pointed out the difference. “Sonic, I think, is bullets, the little balls,” he reported. “Mine is, like, shaved ice.”
Davis Love III also bought some “ice” with his first check on TOUR -- but in his case it was an engagement ring for his wife Robin. His first really extravagant purchase, though, was the black Porsche 930 Turbo he bought a year or so later.
“(It) didn't make any sense because Robin was pregnant,” Love recalls. “It conked out on her at Bay Hill when she was six months pregnant so that didn't work out real well. … My first big splurge. I should've kept it. (Ian) Poulter would probably be mad at me.”
J.J. Spaun, who finished a career-high 62nd in the FedExCup last year, rewarded himself with a Porsche 911 GT3 in December. “So that's a big splurge, but I mean you play on the big boy tour and you play well, you can have some big toys,” he said with a grin.
Bubba Watson was still on the mini-tours, on the other hand, when he bought a Mercedes-Benz. He remembers it cost in the neighborhood of $53,000, which was a lot of money for the young pro.
“I was still living with my parents at the time,” Watson recalls. “My parents were like, you know, you still have to pay taxes so don't waste all your money yet.”
Patrick Reed, who won THE NORTHERN TRUST on Sunday, is a car guy, too. He distinctly remembers the days back in 2012 when he and his wife Justine drove from tournament to tournament in her four-door Lexus sedan, successfully Monday qualifying six times.
“I don’t think there was any air left in that car,” Reed says. “We had the trunk completely methodically full and the whole back seat methodically filled up.”
Reed, who enters this week’s BMW Championship ranked No. 2 in the FedExCup, and his wife have upgraded their garage now, though. He bought a red Lamborghini and Justine has a Mercedes G-Class SUV. “I love cars,” he says with a smile.
Zach Johnson can only recall buying two cars for himself. One was the BMW he treated himself to after winning Player of the Year honors on what is now known as the Korn Ferry Tour. He could afford it, though, after banking what was then a record $494,882 thanks to two wins and 11 top-10 finishes.
“I went and bought a BMW -- and I'm not even a car guy per se,” Johnson recalls. “But I've always loved BMWs and as a result now I'm an ambassador of BMW. So that's why I don't buy any cars. I've bought a lot of cars just not for myself.”
Chesson Hadley likes sports cars as much as the next guy but they just didn’t seem too practical for him. So, his first splurge was on a Ford Raptor. Hadley sold the gigantic 4x4 truck earlier this year, though, and bought an H1 Hummer.
Marc Leishman also bought a Raptor after he won the 2017 Arnold Palmer Invitational. His wife Audrey encouraged the father of three to do something for himself to celebrate.
“I was like just buy the kids something or whatever and she said no,” the Aussie recalls. “So, I bought a Ford Raptor. That was probably the only time I've really splurged after a win. I don't know, I'm just happy doing stuff for other people and I've got probably everything I want.”
The 6-foot-2 Leishman never thought about buying a sports car, though.
“It's too far down to a sports car where I'll hurt my back going into them,” he says. “And you can't drive them fast anyway. So why? That's my reasoning. You can't fit car seats into them, either.
“So, I can fit three car seats across the back of my truck. It's fast enough. It's like a big luxury car, really. Good for a big bloke like me.”
Tony Finau, who has five children, also splurged on a more serviceable vehicle – a Mercedes Benz Sprinter. The van was “souped up” with TVs and some captain’s chairs.
“So, my wife -- that's kind of her dream car and my kids love it, you know, to be able to get them in there,” Finau says. “So, I suppose we kind of splurged on that. And my wife and I got a beautiful home in Utah that I think we're pretty proud of … It's a beautiful place. So, to have those types of luxuries is pretty cool.”
Jordan Spieth and Bryson DeChambeau, who admits he likes to splurge a little after each win, have both indulged in real estate, in Mexico and the Bahamas, respectively. DeChambeau also bought a Tesla – what else would the TOUR’s resident scientist purchase? – when he kept his TOUR card after the 2017 season.
Paul Casey bought his first Rolex in Switzerland not long after he won the 2001 Gleneagles Scottish PGA Championship on the way to earning Rookie of the Year on the European Tour. Nick Watney has splurged on a Land Rover and Air Jordans while Ryan Armour took his parents and in-laws to Maui when he played in the 2018 Sentry Tournament of Champions.
“I loved doing that,” he says.
Kevin Streelman sees his splurges as pre-kids and post-kids. For instance, he bought his dream car, a Porsche 911, several years ago, but now celebrations mean Sophia, who is 5 years old, and Rhett, 3, want dad to take them to Nike Town or Chuckie Cheese or an ice cream parlor.
“I don't really care about the cars and watches anymore,” says Streelman, adding the Porsche has since been traded. “It's turned into mini-vans … But it's all good. I wouldn't want it any other way.”
James Hahn agrees. His main goal is to provide for his wife, Stephanie, their 4-year-old daughter Kailee, and their extended family.
“It would be nice driving nice cars and having nice watches and whatnot, but that doesn't make me happy,” Hahn says. “Seeing the smile on my daughter's face, my caddie's face, mom’s and dad's face when I'd give them something of value, you know, that that makes me happier than anything else.”