By DOUG FERGUSON, AP Golfing Author
Not even inflation can diminish the dominance of Tiger Woods.
The latest reminder arrived at Hilton Head when Jordan Spieth overcame an 18-inch skip on Saturday and a 3-shot deficit on Sunday to beat Patrick Cantlay in a playoff for his 13th occupation PGA Tour victory.
Along with a tartan jacket (he appears far better in green) and a location in the winners-only discipline at Kapalua future January (a big perk to him), Spieth acquired $1,440,000. That designed him the 11th participant in PGA Tour historical past to cross the $50 million mark in career earnings.
Officially, he is the youngest participant at 28 many years and 9 months to get to $50 million.
That is the place inflation comes in.
Woods is the only other player to access $50 million in profession tour earnings before turning 30. He was 29 and 6 months when he was runner-up at the Western Open up in 2005, pushing him around a milestone that he quickly remaining in the rearview mirror.
Woods essential only seven much more yrs to cross $100 million, and now he is at $120,895,206.
Spieth was amongst a half-dozen gamers who inconspicuously leaned about the railing from the 2nd ground of PGA Tour headquarters last month to observe as Woods was inducted into the Globe Golf Hall of Fame. He would be fast to admit that a selection like $50 million would not even exist with no Woods.
Yes, there was a important variance in purses.
Whole prize revenue when Woods turned pro in the summer of 1996 was $65.95 million. Spieth turned professional in 2013 — like Woods, with no a tour card — and the overall prize fund was $260 million.
Although equally attained $50 million in roughly nine yrs, Woods did it in 41 less tournaments (177 compared with 218 for Spieth). The regular full prize income for Woods in the course of that stretch was $173.8 million. For Spieth, it was $322.56 million.
Rory McIlroy is a much better comparison. He turned pro practically 6 years just before Spieth and has held a worldwide schedule with membership on two tours. McIlroy necessary only 173 gatherings on the PGA Tour to attain $50 million at Bay Hill in 2020, about six weeks ahead of he turned 31.
Scores are coming down and prize dollars is heading up. This kind of is the evolution of sport. The greatest measure will generally be victories.
Woods has 82 on the PGA Tour alone — 11 far more on excursions in Asia, Australia, Japan and Europe — and 15 majors. All those are the numbers that define him. When he passed $50 million, Woods presently had 43 tour victories.
Money nevertheless matters, while not entirely to Woods. He was asked at Riviera a several months back if he realized how a great deal was in his deferred payment deal.
“Nope. Uh-uh,” he said.
Even now, this can be added to his extensive listing of feats that might in no way be matched, ideal up there with 142 consecutive cuts and needing only seven commences to qualify for the Tour Championship.
Woods has been atop the PGA Tour occupation cash list for 22 yrs.
It utilized to be a contest. Greg Norman took the lead over Tom Kite in August 1995 by successful the Planet Collection of Golfing at Firestone, and he held it until the past 7 days in January 2000 when Davis Love III moved past him right after the Phoenix Open.
Like stayed on major all of two months right until Woods was runner-up at Torrey Pines and took above. It took 73 tournaments from his “Hello, world” introduction to Woods top the occupation money checklist, and the gap has only widened.
Spieth is not completely ready to declare himself all the way again — “close but far” is what he stated right after he received the RBC Heritage. He has two wins in just in excess of a yr, but also seven finishes out of the prime 25 due to the fact successful the Texas Open up last 12 months and 3 skipped cuts this yr.
He will normally be when compared with how he started out his profession.
It was at the Valspar Championship in 2015 when Spieth, then 21 and in his 3rd yr, performed a follow round with a few some others born the exact year — Justin Thomas, Daniel Berger and Ollie Schniederjans. They lined up for a team photograph from oldest to youngest, sharing birthdates to make sure they received it appropriate. Spieth was the youngest.
This was just one 7 days immediately after he passed $9 million in job cash.
Spieth went on to acquire five occasions that yr, which include the Masters and U.S. Open up, lacking the British Open playoff by 1 shot and ending 2nd in the PGA Championship. He had a 60% charge ending in the top rated 10 and established a PGA Tour report with $12,030,465 in earnings.
Woods in 2000 gained nine occasions, which includes three majors. He was runner-up 4 occasions and only concluded out of the leading 10 three instances in 20 commences. He produced $9,188,321 that yr.
The income keeps heading up. The Players Championship paid $3.6 million to the winner — the overall purse was $3.5 million the first yr Woods played.
Is it adequate for anybody to capture Woods?
McIlroy, who turns 33 in two weeks, is just over $59 million powering. Spieth is $70 million again, and not quite $4 million forward of his modern, Justin Thomas. Dustin Johnson has just above $74 million in occupation earnings. He turns 38 in June.
Even with today’s cash, they all feel so considerably away. Just like often.
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