Tiger's Still No. 1

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Tiger's Still No. 1

January 27, 2015

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Just as Tiger Woods is not the dominant player at 39 he was at 24, he's also no longer the runaway No. 1 as a cash machine. While Woods has topped the Golf Digest 50 All-Encompassing Money List all 12 years of its existence, his advantage this year was barely more than $5 million over No. 2 Phil Mickelson and $6 million over Rory McIlroy. Not exactly chump change, but certainly not what it was in the 2010 ranking (the last not impacted by the perfect storm of scandal, injury and swing changes) when his lead was an astronomical $80 million. The other thing of note in this year's ranking is that those chasing Woods are younger and more talented than ever. Of the top 50 players, 18 are 30 or younger, including No. 3 McIlroy, No. 6 Billy Horschel, No. 12 Rickie Fowler, No. 16 Jordan Spieth and No. 19 Martin Kaymer. While Woods will likely always be a top earner even after his competitive days are gone, it is no longer a sure thing he will always be No. 1.

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20. Bernhard LangerSKINNY: This guy gives no indication of slowing down. He's just dominating the Champions Tour. A rock-solid image as an endorsement partner.2014 RANK: 36ON COURSE: $4,520,314OFF COURSE: $5,600,000TOTAL: $10,120,314

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19. Martin KaymerSKINNY: The last time he won a major he didn't build on it. Can he do better this time around? Not a flashy personality but the U.S. Open performance at Pinehurst No. 2 sure was.2014 RANK: NRON COURSE: $6,114,169OFF COURSE: $5,000,000TOTAL: $11,114,169

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18. Henrik StensonSKINNY: He's come back from the dead a couple of times. And he still could become the first Swedish male to win a major.2014 RANK: 5ON COURSE: $6,935,615OFF COURSE: $4,400,000TOTAL: $11,335,615

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17. Greg NormanSKINNY: From design to wine and now as a Fox Sports TV personality, Shark has done a brilliant job of building his brand. Has one of the most-recognized logos in the game.2014 RANK: 10ON COURSE: $80,000OFF COURSE: $12,000,000TOTAL: $12,080,000

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16. Jordan SpiethSKINNY: At age 21 and after two years as a pro, he has $23.5 million and is on the GD 50. Not a bad start. And no reason to think he won't keep getting better.2014 RANK: 18ON COURSE: $6,311,404OFF COURSE: $5,950,000TOTAL: $12,261,404

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15. Ernie ElsSKINNY: With power bases in South Africa, Britain and the United States, the Big Easy has an earning power that is as timeless as that swing of his which has rhythm to die for.2014 RANK: 9ON COURSE: $2,368,670OFF COURSE: $9,950,000TOTAL: $12,318,670

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14. Matt KucharSKINNY: That smile is genuine, and it sells. And the game is rock solid. For a half-dozen years now he's been an on-course ATM.2014 RANK: 13ON COURSE: $7,006,342OFF COURSE: $6,250,000TOTAL: $13,256,342

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13. Jim FurykSKINNY: As steady as they come. The fact that he (and his logos) is on the leader board (and TV) every time he plays make him extremely valuable. So does being a solid citizen.2014 RANK: 20ON COURSE: $7,822,395OFF COURSE: $6,250,000TOTAL: $14,072,395

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12. Rickie FowlerSKINNY: Took huge steps last year toward being much more than just another pretty face. Played great in the majors. Year 2 of the swing refinement should be interesting and could be even more profitable..2014 RANK: 35ON COURSE: $5,880,284OFF COURSE: $8,750,000TOTAL: $14,630,284

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11. Gary PlayerSKINNY: At 80, he still does 1,200 sit-ups a day. The first globetrotting player has multinational revenue streams in a wide variety of businesses, including course design. A statesman for the game.2014 RANK: 7ON COURSE: --OFF COURSE: $15,000,000TOTAL: $15,000,000

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10. Bubba WatsonSKINNY: Being someone who stands out in a crowd enhances your value. Being left-handed, and a little bit odd, makes Bubba bankable. And there may be more green jackets coming for him.2014 RANK: 37ON COURSE: $9,361,978OFF COURSE: $5,750,000TOTAL: $15,111,978

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9. Adam ScottSKINNY: Being a heartthrob who has a Master green jacket in his closet is like being handed a blank check. Let's see how he handles the last year of playing with a long putter.2014 RANK: 8ON COURSE: $5,756,141OFF COURSE: $9,500,000TOTAL: $15,256,141

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8. Sergio GarciaSKINNY: Has fewer deals than before but that could be good as he is focusing more on golf. He's getting closer to that elusive first major.2014 RANK: 11ON COURSE: $7,347,235OFF COURSE: $8,500,000TOTAL: $15,847,235

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7. Justin RoseSKINNY: Being a nice guy who does admirable charity work makes you very marketable. So does being on the leader board almost every time he tees it up.2014 RANK: 12ON COURSE: $7,228,816OFF COURSE: $11,000,000TOTAL: $18,228,816

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6. Billy HorschelSKINNY: That $10 million FedEx Cup bonus sure jumps you up the ranking in a hurry. Now let's see if he can build on that success or is merely content with being set for life.2014 RANK: 46ON COURSE: $15,549,691OFF COURSE: $2,750,000TOTAL: $18,299,691

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5. Jack NicklausSKINNY: His value only rises as Tiger gets older. As amazing as Woods has been, he still hasn't caught Jack in major wins. That's made a generation who never saw the Golden Bear at his best appreciate how great he was.2014 RANK: 4ON COURSE: $47,250OFF COURSE: $22,000,000TOTAL: $22,047,250

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4. Arnold PalmerSKINNY: At age 85, The King is still The King. No name in the history of golf has ever sold as much product. Nice guys don't always finish last.2014 RANK: 3ON COURSE: --OFF COURSE: $40,000,000TOTAL: $40,000,000

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3. Rory McIlroySKINNY: Young, likeable and a winner. That translates into cash. For now, he's concentrating on a few high-profile, well-paying endorsement partners. The sky's the limit here.2014 RANK: 6ON COURSE: $14,183,976OFF COURSE: $35,000,000TOTAL: $49,183,976

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2. Phil MickelsonSKINNY: A winning personality and broad range of interests make Lefty a likely candidate to emerge as an elder statesman in the game and extend his endorsement value deep into his golden years.2014 RANK: 2ON COURSE: $2,238,019OFF COURSE: $48,500,000TOTAL: $50,738,019

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1. Tiger WoodsSKINNY: Back injury resulted in the least productive cash-wise of his 19 seasons on the course and cost him major year-end appearance fees in Asia.2014 RANK: 1ON COURSE: $610,775OFF COURSE: $54,500,000TOTAL: $55,110,775

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