Tour Pro Flies Coach Despite $1.5m TPC Sawgrass Winnings

Tom Hoge took a low-budget option to fly back to Texas after finishing tied for third in the Players Championship

Tom Hoge takes a shot during the 2023 Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass
Tom Hoge opted for a low-budget flight home from TPC Sawgrass, despite his seven-figure win
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Players Championship handed five players earnings of over $1m from its record $25m purse.

However, even though that handful of competitors left TPC Sawgrass considerably wealthier following their efforts, you would never know from the style of travel one of those players opted for to head home. 

Tom Hoge finished tied for third to claim $1.475m in the final tournament of the Florida Swing, but rather than upgrade his plane seat to business class for his flight back to Fort Worth in Texas, he instead took a coach seat for the journey.

The 33-year-old posted an image of his less-than-luxurious seating arrangement on Twitter in response to a post from AP Golf Writer Doug Ferguson, who reported the American had opted for the budget arrangement.

In Hoge’s defence, he would have had low expectations of earning the huge sum when he booked the seat. The American had initially booked a flight home on Friday afternoon after a disappointing six-over 78 in the opening round left him facing the probability of missing the cut.

Things began to look up when he bettered that score by 10 on Friday, but even then, at two over, it was touch and go as to whether he would make it to Saturday. To complicate matters further, the weather intervened to ensure the second round couldn’t finish until Saturday morning. Presumably still anticipating a missed cut, Hoge rebooked the flight for Saturday afternoon, only to squeeze into the third round.

With his second flight no longer necessary, Hoge knew he wouldn't need to fly home until Sunday, and proceeded to take the tournament by storm, breaking the course record with a 10-under-par 62 on Moving Day to put himself into contention for victory. While that didn’t happen, his 70 on Sunday was enough to bag him the seven-figure prize.

While some PGA Tour pros own private jets, Hoge seems comfortable going to the opposite extreme despite his earnings – although judging by the limited leg room, he may have wished he’d splashed out on an upgrade.

Mike Hall
News Writer

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.