Once again, it’s good to be Tiger Woods.
And it’s really good to be Tiger Woods in the modern era of golf.
Woods, who was named to the U.S. Ryder Cup team this morning, may not have won the Deutsche Bank Championship on Monday, but his third-place finish was good for $544,000 that pushed him past $100 million in winnings on the PGA Tour.
Woods’s career total now stands at $100,350,700, a figure that does not include endorsements or other prize money (like the $10 million FedEx Cup bonus he has won twice). He became the first billion-dollar man in sports three years ago, according to Forbes.
Sam Snead is the leader with 82 PGA Tour victories, but he earned only $620,000 over his career, which began in 1937.
“I’ve won fewer tournaments than Sam Snead has, but obviously he was in a different era,” Woods, who has won 74 PGA events, said after finishing two strokes behind Rory McIlroy on Monday. “It's just that we happened to time it up right and happened to play well when the purses really had a nice spike up.”
It’s overly simplistic, though, for Woods to say that purses spiked. They did, but the crowds and big TV audiences came to the sport largely because of him and the success he had at a young age.
“It was nice to have a nice start to my career, and I won some majors early,” he said. “I think we got some interest in the game of golf. A lot more youth, that's for sure.”
For Woods, topping $100 million was no doubt nice, but it’s not as if $99 million was anything to sneeze at. Most importantly, he was in the 60s in all four rounds of the Deutsche Bank and is having an impressive year, despite failing to win a major. He is in the running to win the $10 million FedEx Cup bonus for a third time.
Woods needn’t look behind him because there isn’t likely to be another $100 million man any time soon — although perhaps Rory McIlroy, who won the Deutsche Bank, has won two majors and leads the FedEx Cup standings, will get there. At the moment, Phil Mickelson is No. 2, trailing Woods by more than $30 million ($66.8 million).