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Tiger Woods Becomes First PGA Tour Golfer To Top $100m

Tiger Woods didn’t win the Deutsche Bank Championship on Monday but still managed to make history. Woods’ third-place finish earned him $544,000, enough cash to make Woods the first golfer in PGA tour history to make $100 million in purse money.

Woods has earned $100,350,700 in prize money since he burst onto the scene in 1996, and according to his lifetime earnings are estimated at $1.15 billion.

“I won fewer tournaments than Sam Snead has, but obviously he was in a different era,” said Woods. “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.”

Despite winning a PGA Tour record 82 tournaments during his career Snead earned just $620,000 over the course of his career. His largest prize was $28,000 for finishing second in 1968, while on average Woods has taken home $362,000 for each of his 74 victories.

The $100 million earned by Woods is a testament to his impact on the game of golf from both a social and economic standpoint. Woods becoming the first African-American to win majors on the PGA Tour opened up the sport to an entirely new demographic. As a result, revenue soared.

“It was nice to have a nice start to my career, and I won some majors early,” said Woods. “I think we got some interest in the game of golf. A lot more youth, that’s for sure.”

While Woods’ hesitancy to fully acknowledge his African-American heritage may bother some, it has never affected the support Woods has received from the black community. Even after a sex scandal that ruined his family and dented his once ironclad reputation, the majority of the black community has stood firm in their support of Woods simply because of what he represents.

When he stepped away from golf, ratings and equipment sales plummeted as a result of what CBS’s Jim Edwards referred to as ‘The Woods’ Effect.”

“The entire category of golf ball brands lost $10.2 million in revenue during Woods’ absence,” he said. “That’s how powerful the Woods’s effect is—his mere presence or absence makes or costs the golf industry tens of millions of dollars, whether he wins or not.”

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