Tiger Woods’ ruinous sex scandal, which cost him his marriage and his squeaky clean image, may finally be behind him. The golfer soared to an all-time record for golf earnings, crossing the $100 million mark with a third place finish yesterday at the Deutsche Bank Championship.
While his game isn’t as dominating as it once was, he’s clearly emerged from the dry spell that followed his return to golf after the 2009 scandal. He’ll also be representing the United States this year in international play for the Ryder Cup.
“The purse increase helps,” Woods said in his usual self-deprecating style. “I won fewer tournaments than Sam Snead has, but obviously he was in a different era.” Snead is the all-time career victory leader with 82 PGA wins compared with 74 wins for Woods.
Snead earned $620,000 from golf back in the 1930s. Adjusted for inflation to equal today’s dollars and that comes to $9,312,452.22, a nice sum but no where near Woods. Phil Mickelson is second on the all-time money list with $66.8 million. He finished fourth at tournament.
Woods earn $544,000 for his third place finish. His lifetime earnings, counting endorsements and other income is estimated to be in the range of $1.15 billion. Woods also still has a shot at the $10 million FedEx Cup bonus, which he’s won twice.
Woods sex scandal exploded over the Thanksgiving holiday in 2009 when then-wife, Swedish model, Elin Nordegren, found incriminating text messages on his phone from New York party girl Rachel Uchitel. As the scandal unfolded, more than a dozen women came forward to say they had sex with the golfer during his marriage.
Woods put his golf career on indefinite hold to work on repairing his marriage, but was back on the tour within a few months as the marriage crumbled. He reportedly paid Nordegren $100 million settlement. Uchitel also reportedly got a seven-figure settlement to keep quiet. But Woods could clearly afford it.