Tiger's impact on the wallets of PGA players
Putting Tiger's almost $100-million career PGA earnings into perspective
Published on Thursday, Jul. 05, 2012 09:46AM EDT
SHOW ME THE MONEY I: You may have heard that Tiger’s win last weekend at the AT&T National pushed him past the $99-million mark in career PGA earnings - $99,037,940 to be exact. ESPN.com’s Justin Ray did a little number crunching to put some perspective on what it all means:
- no other player has earned more than $70-million in their PGA career
- When Tiger turned pro in 1996, the Tour's all-time leader in career earnings was Greg Norman with a paltry $9.6 million. ¿ Tiger earned that much in one season on four separate occassions. However, he does not hold the single-season record for earnings, which belongs to Vijay Singh with $10.9-million in 2004.
- Jack Nicklaus finished with $5.7-million in tournament winnings in his PGA career. ...This season alone, Woods has already made $4.2 million.
It’s been said that Tiger’s presence on the Tour has inspired a generation of kids to pick up a golf club. He’s also responsible for the increase in tournament purses since he came onto the scene, which in turn has made a large number of other players multi-millionaires. Check these numbers out:
- In 1996, Tom Lehman led the PGA Tour in earnings with $1.78 million. This year alone 25 players have already made more than that. Lehman would barely crack the top 50 with his 1996 total
- In 1997, Tiger earned $2 million in a single season. In 2009, a record 38 players made at least that much.
- In 1995, the 125th-ranked player on the PGA Tour money list - John Wilson - made $149,280. Last year, D.J. Trahan - who finished 125th on the list - made more than four times that amount (more than $668,000).
SHOW ME THE MONEY II: Back when the PGA Tour season ended the first week of the November at the Tour Championship, there was growing support for a shorter season. Turns out that shorter season is not to take a break from golf, but to chase more money.
There was the Kiwi Challenge that Hunter Mahan won in 2008. The Shanghai Masters was created last year. Tiger Woods went to Australia in 2009 and 2010, though he has a history of international travel from when he was a rookie. Phil Mickelson has a burgeoning golf course design business in Asia, and he is a two-time winner of the HSBC Champions in Shanghai.
According to two British newspaper, the latest edition is the Turkish Airways World Golf Finals in October, with a $5.3 million pursue and the best players in the world. The Daily Mail and The Daily Telegraph report the field is to include Woods, Rory McIlroy, Luke Donald, Lee Westwood, Justin Rose, Charl Schwartzel, Webb Simpson and Mahan.
The winner would receive $1.5 million, with $1 million going to the runner-up.
The tournament is to be played Oct. 9-12, ending on a Friday so that it won't steal attention away from the weekend of the Portugal Masters on the European Tour and the Frys.com Open on the PGA Tour, the second event in the Fall Series.
One newspaper said Woods is working toward a deal with the Turkish airline.
None of the PGA Tour players involved were likely to be at the Frys.com Open, or in Las Vegas the week before. Woods made his Fall Series debut at the Frys.com Open last year, though he was still in conversation about a corporate deal at the time. Simpson lost in a playoff last year at the McGladrey Classic, which follows the Turkey event, though he was trying to the money title.
For the PGA Tour, the shorter regular season was created by the FedEx Cup, which offers $35 million in prize money. And the structure allowed it to then have a wraparound season starting in 2013, with the Fall Series being treated the same as regular PGA Tour events.
One thing hasn't changed. About the only break from golf is the week of Christmas.
MOVING THE NEEDLE: Tiger Woods again showed his television power when CBS Sports reported a 4.6 overnight rating with a 10 share for the final round of the AT&T Nationsl, which Woods won for his third win of the year. It was up 188 percent over last year, though the rating did not measure the same metered markets because of widespread power outages in Philadelphia, Washington, Baltimore and Columbus, Ohio.
Next up for Woods is The Greenbrier Classic, his first trip to West Virginia.
The PGA Tour event will be up against NBC Sports and the U.S. Women's Open, the biggest event on the LPGA Tour schedule. This will be the first time since 2003 that Woods has played the same week as the U.S. Women's Open.
TIGER TRACKS: Bo Van Pelt became the 71st player on the PGA Tour to be a runner-up to Tiger Woods. ... Woods now is 54-7 when playing in the final group and trailing by no more than one shot. ...Tiger will be trying to record back-to-back top 10s for the first time since September 2009 when he plays this week at the Greenbrier.
LORNE AND ME: Ian Andrew, a noted golf architect who has had a hand in the restoration of many of Canada’s top golf courses, penned this tribute to Lorne Rubenstein, who announced his retirement from the Globe and Mail after 32 years as the newspaper’s golf writer. You can read more of Ian's thoughts here.
PUTTING GREENS OR GREEN SPACE: One of Vancouver’s oldest public golf courses, Langara Golf Course, could be disappearing as the city is investigating whether or not to transform the 86-year-old city-owned golf course into a public park.
In what he calls “a very cautious first step,” Vision Vancouver park commissioner Aaron Jasper will introduce a motion on Monday asking staff to “compile and report back usage and revenue metrics” for the course.
If the evaluation determines a golf course is not the best use for the land, the board could move to replace either some or all of the 48.6-hectare course with public park space.
"I have to deal with it in every single press conference. I have to answer it in post-round interviews—whether it's with you guys or in a live shot [on TV]. You do that for a couple of years, sometimes you guys can be a little annoying." - Tiger Woods, admitting he was frustrated by media questions during his two-year win drought
Files from the Associated Press were used in this report