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Tough Economic Times?

September 4, 2012 - Al Stephenson
Tiger Woods finished third this week on the PGA Tour's version of the playoffs. Despite finishing behind winner Rory McIlroy - golf's latest phenom - it was Tiger that made an impression on many golf fans (including this one) with a mind bogling stat. Tiger Woods became the first golfer to amass $100,000,000 in earnings!

Yes, the number of zeroes is correct. One hundred million dollars. Let me repeat that. ONE HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS! Can you imagine? Well, neither can I.

To his credit, Tiger downplayed the number. He was lucky, he said, to come along when there was a spike in purses. Though that may be true, he still had to play some great golf to make that kind of cash and great golf he played. He may not be the same golfer that he once was, but he is not far off his younger days. He has a lot of golf left, assuming he can maintain his health, and the figure will only continue to grow.

One question that begs to be asked is whether anyone will ever break the mark that Tiger will eventually set. Two things will have to happen for this golf record to be eclipsed. The first factor would be whether the purses will continue to grow. The last time I looked, this country was in the throes of an economic recession. Of course while some sectors of the economy are hurting, others are not. The purses may continue to climb, even if your income or mine, will not.

The second factor, and one that is perhaps more important, would be if there is another golfer out there who could become the next Tiger Woods. Currently the name that usually surfaces is Rory McIlroy. How many times have you heard announcers suggest that McIlroy reminds them of a young Tiger Woods?

Can McIlroy - or anyone else for that matter - eclipse Tiger's career earnings, whatever that figure may be? Time will tell, but Rory McIlroy may just have the game to do it.

The view from my seat would suggest that if McIlroy only gets to say, $900,000,000 - it will be hard to feel sorry for him. Besides most professional athletes make more in endorsements than they do playing the game. Tough economic times my behind!


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