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10 Jun, 2022 18:05

Tiger Woods reaches rare money milestone

The feat was achieved despite Woods reportedly turning down a mammoth proposal from the Saudi-backed LIV Golf League
Tiger Woods reaches rare money milestone

Golf icon Tiger Woods has joined basketball legends Michael Jordan and LeBron James by becoming the third athlete in history to surpass net worth of at least $1 billion, according to Forbes.  

The finance magazine estimated that LA Lakers star James had hit the threshold last week with earnings of $121.1 million over the past 12 months.

According to the US publication, 46-year-old Woods has raked in over $1.7 billion over his 27-year career, which is more than anyone Forbes has tracked in the world of sports, allowing them to conclude that Woods has a net worth of at least $1 billion.

Forbes also claimed that less than 10% of Woods' net worth has come from what he has earned on the golf course while winning 15 major championships.

Elsewhere, he has lucrative sponsorship deals with the likes of Nike, who he has been with since 1996, Gatorade, Monster Energy, and TaylorMade – which have all boosted his bank balance. 

Woods has scooped $68 million in off-course income over the last 12 months, Forbes said. And even though he has only played at The Masters and in the PGA Championship recently, and did not participate in any tournaments at all in 2021 while recovering from a brutal car accident, that figure alone would make him the world's 14th-highest-paid athlete.

In Forbes' most recent list in that respect, footballer Lionel Messi reclaimed top spot from Conor McGregor, who dropped outside the top 10.

In second was James, and just like his fellow Nike-sponsored star, Woods' interests go beyond his chosen sport.

Getting into ownership and course design, Woods has also invested in PopStroke which is a luxury minigolf outfit with multiple locations around Florida. 

Despite a series of scandals such as the discovery of infidelity with ex-wife Elin Nordegren and a resulting Thanksgiving car crash in 2009 that saw Buick and a list of other sponsors drop him, Woods has managed to remain one of sport's most bankable stars.

Furthermore, he has also managed to become a billionaire despite rebuffing the advances of the Saudi-backed LIV Super Golf League.

According to LIV CEO Greg Norman via The Washington Post, Woods turned down a "mind-blowingly enormous" offer from the breakaway group that was in "the high nine digits".

Soon following in Woods' footsteps could be 13-year-old son Charlie, who is being tipped as a future prodigy after impressing at the PNC Championship in a father and son duo with Woods when they finished second behind John Daly and John Daly III late last year.