Tiger Woods, one of the most famous golfers in the history of the sport, has once again pulled off the impossible.
Woods marked his official comeback and first win on the PGA Tour since 2013 by dominating at the Tour Championship on Aug. 25, finishing 72 holes at an impressive 11 under par. Considering his numerous back surgeries in the last decade, his age and the young talent in the game of golf, Woods’ win was monumental to say the least.
However, Woods’ success on the course will most likely be short-lived. He will turn 43 in December and must manage his surgically repaired back.
At the end of the day, Woods doesn’t need to win anymore. While most golfers claim that pride and honor are the greatest honors they can receive for winning tournaments, golfers earn more than athletes in multiple other sports.
The PGA Tour had 47 official tournaments on its 2016-2017 schedule, with prize money totalling $342 million. To put that into perspective, Woods has been playing professional golf for nearly 22 years and has won money from events outside the PGA Tour.
Woods has made more than $1.4 billion since turning pro in 1996, and more than $115 million of that came from on-course winnings. He ranks No. 1 all-time in earnings for professional golfers.
Let’s not forget about endorsements. Before his reported infidelity in November 2009 and his eventual divorce, Woods was in no shortage of endorsements. Companies like AT&T Inc., General Motors Co., Gillette and Gatorade were his most notable sponsors. Not only did Woods have to cough up $100 million for the divorce settlement, but he also lost about $23 million worth of endorsements almost overnight following the news of his adultery.
Naturally, with the news of his ugly divorce, his standing as the highest earning golfer fell in the years after 2013. Tiger Woods sat in 17th place in winnings for the majority of 2017, making $37.1 million — contrasting with the $115 million he made in 2008. Woods’ earnings fell by 11 percent per year on average, but his multi-million dollar sponsorship deals continued to net him more than most golfers in the sport.
Despite all of the money that Woods lost in endorsements and in his divorce over the past decade, his net worth was a lofty $740 million in 2016. This number has most likely fluctuated somewhat, but it reveals how much money the legend has amassed in the last two decades.
Monetarily, Woods shows up his competitors every year and beats each one by a landslide. On the course, however, he may struggle to perform like the Woods of years past, given his age and battles with back and knee surgeries.
Woods’ most recent win may have marked the final victory for a long-revered legend, but his earnings show that he will always be an icon in the game of golf.