Doug Ferguson | Spieth crossing $50M a reminder of Tiger’s commonplace | Sports activities

Not even inflation can diminish the dominance of Tiger Woods.

The newest reminder got here at Hilton Head when Jordan Spieth overcame an 18-inch miss on Saturday and a three-shot deficit on Sunday to beat Patrick Cantlay in a playoff for his thirteenth profession PGA Tour victory.

Along with a tartan jacket (he appears to be like higher in inexperienced) and a spot within the winners-only discipline at Kapalua subsequent January (a giant perk to him), Spieth earned $1,440,000. That made him the eleventh participant in PGA Tour historical past to cross the $50 million mark in profession earnings.

Officially, he’s the youngest participant at 28 years and 9 months to succeed in $50 million.

That’s the place inflation is available in.

Woods is the one different participant to succeed in $50 million in profession tour earnings earlier than turning 30. He was 29 and 6 months when he was runner-up on the Western Open in 2005, pushing him over a milestone that he rapidly left within the rearview mirror.

Woods wanted solely seven extra years to cross $100 million, and now he’s at $120,895,206.

Spieth was amongst a half-dozen gamers who inconspicuously leaned over the railing from the second flooring of PGA Tour headquarters final month to observe as Woods was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame. He can be fast to acknowledge {that a} quantity like $50 million wouldn’t even exist with out Woods.

Yes, there was a major distinction in purses.

Total prize cash when Woods turned professional in the summertime of 1996 was $65.95 million. Spieth turned professional in 2013 — like Woods, with no tour card — and the overall prize fund was $260 million.

While each reached $50 million in roughly 9 years, Woods did it in 41 fewer tournaments (177 in contrast with 218 for Spieth). The common complete prize cash for Woods throughout that stretch was $173.8 million. For Spieth, it was $322.56 million.

Rory McIlroy is a greater comparability. He turned professional almost six years earlier than Spieth and has saved a worldwide schedule with membership on two excursions. McIlroy wanted solely 173 occasions on the PGA Tour to succeed in $50 million at Bay Hill in 2020, about six weeks earlier than he turned 31.

Scores are coming down and prize cash goes up. Such is the evolution of sport. The finest measure will all the time be victories.

Woods has 82 on the PGA Tour alone — 11 extra on excursions in Asia, Australia, Japan and Europe — and 15 majors. Those are the numbers that outline him. When he handed $50 million, Woods already had 43 tour victories.

Money nonetheless issues, although not totally to Woods. He was requested at Riviera a couple of months in the past if he knew how a lot was in his deferred compensation bundle.

“Nope. Uh-uh,” he stated.

Does he wish to know?

“Uh-uh,” he stated.

Still, this may be added to his lengthy record of feats that may by no means be matched, proper up there with 142 consecutive cuts and needing solely seven begins to qualify for the Tour Championship.

Woods has been atop the PGA Tour profession cash record for 22 years.

It was once a contest. Greg Norman took the lead over Tom Kite in August 1995 by profitable the World Series of Golf at Firestone, and he saved it till the final week in January 2000 when Davis Love III moved previous him after the Phoenix Open.

Love stayed on prime all of two weeks till Woods was runner-up at Torrey Pines and took over. It took 73 tournaments from his “Hello, world” introduction to Woods main the profession cash record, and the hole has solely widened.

Spieth just isn’t able to declare himself all the best way again — “close but far” is what he stated after he received the RBC Heritage. He has two wins in simply over a 12 months, but additionally seven finishes out of the highest 25 since profitable the Texas Open final 12 months and three missed cuts this 12 months.

He will all the time be in contrast with how he began his profession.

It was on the Valspar Championship in 2015 when Spieth, then 21 and in his third 12 months, performed a apply spherical with three others born the identical 12 months — Justin Thomas, Daniel Berger and Ollie Schniederjans. They lined up for a gaggle photograph from oldest to youngest, sharing birthdates to verify they obtained it proper. Spieth was the youngest.

This was one week after he handed $9 million in profession cash.

Spieth went on to win 5 occasions that 12 months, together with the Masters and U.S. Open, lacking the British Open playoff by one shot and ending second within the PGA Championship. He had a 60% price ending within the prime 10 and set a PGA Tour file with $12,030,465 in earnings.

Woods in 2000 received 9 occasions, together with three majors. He was runner-up 4 occasions and solely completed out of the highest 10 3 times in 20 begins. He made $9,188,321 that 12 months.

The cash retains going up. The Players Championship paid $3.6 million to the winner — the overall purse was $3.5 million the primary 12 months Woods performed.

Is it sufficient for anybody to catch Woods?

McIlroy, who turns 33 in two weeks, is simply over $59 million behind. Spieth is $70 million again, and never fairly $4 million forward of his up to date, Justin Thomas. Dustin Johnson has simply over $74 million in profession earnings. He turns 38 in June.

Even with as we speak’s cash, all of them appear so far-off. Just like all the time.

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