Tiger Passes $100 Million In PGA Earnings

I do my best to avoid turning this blog into just another Tiger watching tome, but sometimes I just have to take note.

With the $544,000 Tiger won for his third at the Deutschebank, his career tournament earnings now have topped $100 million dollars.  With $100,350,700 in tournament earnings, Tiger is the first to reach that mark. To put it into perspective, Phil Mickelson is in second with $66,805,498.

It is almost a non-story, however, given that Woods long ago topped $1 billion in total earnings if you include endorsements and such. For a superstar such as Tiger, the importance of winning a tournament lies in the value added to outside income streams, not in the relatively paltry amounts that come with the trophy. Each win makes him more valuable to the sponsors—his real income source. It is only the relatively lesser players who really appreciate the paycheck. If Tiger had donated every cent of his earnings for his entire career, he still would be a billionaire (and would perhaps be even wealthier, because of the good will value added to his other endorsements).

There also is the general inflation and the PGA Tour purse inflation that makes comparisons with past players entirely meaningless. It is a bit like the nonsensical “Top Grossing Movies” list. With ticket prices at $12 or more, any movie that comes out today is going to surpass Gone With The Wind in its first weekend.

Tiger has won fewer tournaments than Sam Snead, whose career earnings were somewhere around $600,000. His biggest win was for $28,000 in 1968. Woods has won an average of $360,000 for each of his STARTS.

Jack Nicklaus, for my money still the best ever, earned $5,714,282 in his career (outside of endorsements). The purse increases have far outstripped inflation. Adjusted for 1975 dollars, Nicklaus’ earnings in 2010 would be around $22 million.

My how things change.

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1 thought on “Tiger Passes $100 Million In PGA Earnings”

  1. It’s amazing how far Tiger is in front of the nearly person in earnings.

    Incredible when you put in perspective how much Jack has won in today’s earnings, $22,000,0000 would be unheard of to win in today’s money.


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