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Hey, Tiger, they say the first billion is the hardest

September 30, 2009

Forbes magazine is reporting that Tiger Woods' $10 million FedEx Cup bonus put him over the the $1 billion mark in earnings (on and off the course), the first athlete to reach that plateau.

"Woods had earned a cumulative $895 million going into 2009, by our estimates, from prize money, appearance fees, endorsements, bonuses and his golf course design business," Kurt Badenhausen writes. "If you add his $10.5 million in 2009 prize money, the FedEx bonus and his take so far this year from his more than $100 million in annual off-the-course earnings, Woods' career earnings are now 10 figures."

The magazine estimates that Michael Jordan has earned $800 million since joining the NBA in 1984 and that Formula One driver Michael Schumacher has earned $700 million.

-- John Strege