Tiger Woods has become the first $100 million man on the PGA Tour.
Woods finished third Monday in the Deutsche Bank Championship and made $544,000, pushing his career total to $100,350,700. Next on the list is Phil Mickelson, who finished fourth at the TPC Boston and has $66,805,498.
”The purse increase helps,” Woods said after a final-round 66 left him two strokes behind winner Rory McIlroy in the second week of the four-tournament FedEx Cup playoff. ”I won fewer tournaments than Sam Snead has, but obviously he was in a different era. 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.”
Snead, the career leader with 82 PGA Tour victories, earned just $620,126 in a career that started in 1937. His biggest prize was $28,000 for a second-place finish in Milwaukee in 1968, and for most of his prime he played in tournaments with a total purse – that’s all the payouts combined – of less than $100,000.
Woods has won 74 tournaments, second all-time, including 38 times with a first prize of $1 million or more. His winnings come out to an average of $362,276.89 for each of his 277 career starts.
But it’s not just good timing: Prize money skyrocketed on the PGA Tour after Woods went pro and brought huge crowds and television audiences to the sport.
”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.”
This weekend’s Deutsche Bank paid out $8 million, including the $1.44 million that went to McIlroy for his third victory of the year.
By finishing strong – he was in the 60s in all four rounds – Woods remains in contention for the $10 million FedEx Cup bonus, which he has won twice. That money isn’t even included in his official career earnings, nor is the hundreds of millions he has collected in endorsements.