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Woods tops US$100 million in earnings

NORTON, Massachusetts -- Tiger Woods has become the first US$100 million man on the PGA Tour.

Woods finished third Monday in the Deutsche Bank Championship and made US$544,000, pushing his career total to US$100,350,700. Next on the list is Phil Mickelson, who finished fourth at the TPC Boston and has US$66,805,498.

“The purse increase helps,” Woods said after a final-round 66 left him two strokes behind winner Rory McIlroy in the second week of the four-tournament FedEx Cup playoff. “I won fewer tournaments than Sam Snead has, but obviously he was in a different era. It's just that we happened to time it up right and happened to play well when the purses really had a nice spike up.”

Snead, the career leader with 82 PGA Tour victories, earned just US$620,126 in a career that started in 1937. His biggest prize was US$28,000 for a second-place finish in Milwaukee in 1968, and for most of his prime he played in tournaments with a total purse — that's all the payouts combined — of less than US$100,000.

Woods has won 74 tournaments, second all-time, including 38 times with a first prize of US$1 million or more. His winnings come out to an average of US$362,276.89 for each of his 277 career starts.

But it's not just good timing: Prize money skyrocketed on the PGA Tour after Woods went pro and brought huge crowds and television audiences to the sport.

“It was nice to have a nice start to my career, and I won some majors early,” he said. “I think we got some interest in the game of golf. A lot more youth, that's for sure.”

This weekend's Deutsche Bank paid out US$8 million, including the US$1.44 million that went to McIlroy for his third victory of the year.

By finishing strong — he was in the 60s in all four rounds — Woods remains in contention for the US$10 million FedEx Cup bonus, which he has won twice. That money isn't even included in his official career earnings, nor is the hundreds of millions he has collected in endorsements.

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 McIlroy claims Deutsche Bank trophy 
Tiger Woods chips the ball up onto the green during the final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston in Norton, Massachusetts on Monday, Sept. 3. (AFP)

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