Forbes magazine says Tiger Woods made $115m last year alone, nearly twice as much as the second placed sportsman on the list, the English footballer David Beckham. It predicts he'll make history as the first sportsman or woman to pass the billion mark in 2010.
The magazine is careful to point out that the clarification does not include wealthy individuals who happen to enjoy sport, such as the owner of the winning yacht at the America's Cup Ernesto Bertarelli. He was already Switzerland's richest man when he entered the glitzy world of top level sailing. Tiger Woods has made his fortune because he's a very good golfer.
He has won 50 tournaments faster than any other player, and is closing in on Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 major championship victories. The magazine says nine-tenths of his earnings so far in his career have come from endorsements worth 750 million dollars. His good looks and courteous manner makes him very attractive to sponsors like Buick, Gillette and Nike.
The television ratings are another gauge of his popularity, when Tiger Woods is playing the viewing figures increase by at least a third. TV executives will no doubt be looking forward to his return as Tiger Woods is expected to miss the rest of the season while he recovers from knee surgery.
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