Tiger Woods became the first golfer to surpass $100 million in career winnings on the U.S. PGA Tour with his third-place finish at the Deutsche Bank Championship.
Woods, 36, received $544,000 yesterday by finishing two shots behind winner Rory McIlroy at the second of the four FedExCup playoff events. He’s now collected almost $100.4 million in prize money since turning professional in 1996.
As Woods won 14 major championships and dominated the sport -- spending a record 281 weeks at No. 1 in the Official World Rankings -- tournament purses increased as the value of the PGA Tour’s sponsorships and television contracts surged.
“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,” Woods said at a news conference. “It was nice to have a nice start to my career, and I won some majors early. I think we got some interest in the game of golf.”
Vijay Singh of Fiji is second behind Woods with $66.79 million in career earnings, almost $179,000 ahead of Phil Mickelson in third place on the PGA Tour’s career earnings list.
Woods has 74 career PGA Tour wins, second behind Sam Snead’s 82 victories, and his 14 titles in the sport’s four majors are four behind Jack Nicklaus’s record. Nicklaus, 72, had $5.73 million in career winnings, while Snead, who died in 2002 at the age of 89, totaled $713,155.
“The purse increase helps,” Woods said. “I’ve won fewer tournaments than Sam Snead has. Obviously he was in a different era.”