Tiger Woods Becomes Golf’s First $100 Million Man

NORTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 03: Tiger Woods reacts after finishing the final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston on September 3, 2012 in Norton, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Tiger Woods is really, really wealthy.

Norton, Mass. -- Tiger Woods walked off the 18th green at TPC Boston with a smile on his face after making a closing birdie and finishing the Deutsche Bank Championship in third place. Perhaps it was the finishing-round 66, marking the first time since the 2009 BMW Championship that the former No. 1 had posted four scores in the 60s in a tournament.

Maybe it was knowing that he had just become the first person to earn $100 million by playing golf. Woods’s paycheck for the week came to $544,000, which topped off his career tournament paychecks at $100,350,700.

While such numbers are commonplace for athletes who bash home runs, toss touchdown passes and jam big round balls through hoops, no one making a living hitting balls that are standing still has ever come even close to that figure.

Here are just a few stats to put Woods’s achievement in perspective:

  • $4.4 million -- Arnold Palmer’s career earnings
  • $5.7 million -- Jack Nicklaus’s tourney earnings
  • $66.8 million -- Career earnings for Phil Mickelson, who finished fourth at the Deutsche Bank

“The purse increase helps,” Woods said about the weekly prize money now available to PGA Tour pros, thanks in large part to the enormous galleries and TV viewers who buy tickets and tune in to watch him play. “I've won fewer tournaments than Sam Snead has. 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, who leads Woods in career tour wins, 82-74, began playing in 1937 and pocketed little more than $620,000 total, according to the Associated Press. Woods, on the other hand, has cashed an average paycheck of $362,277 for each of his 277 starts, the AP reported.

“It was nice to have a nice start to my career, and I won some majors early,” Woods said after finishing at 18-under -- two shots back of winner Rory McIlroy. “I think we got some interest in the game of golf. A lot more youth, that's for sure.”

Oh -- the $20 million bonus bucks Woods has stuffed into his wallet, thanks to two FedEx Cup wins, does not even count toward his total tourney earnings.

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