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When you’re Tiger Woods, you make money. Lots of it, even when you don’t play on tour for a full calendar year.
Recovering from his single car accident in February, Woods has been sidelined all season long with his golf future in serious jeopardy. He hasn’t played in a PGA Tour event since the 2020 Masters in November. Still, however, Woods is set to rake in $7.9 million this year without hitting a single golf ball, per Sports Illustrated’s Andy Wittry.
Woods’ earnings are the result of the PGA Tour’s Player Impact Program (PIP), which dishes out $40 million to the top 10 in PIP score, with nearly $8 million going to the No. 1 player. The program was put into place this season, used as a counter to the formation of the Premier Golf League, which was reportedly offering large amounts of money to lure away the PGA’s top stars.
According to Golfweek, the program is largely based on how much internet interaction a golfer on tour gets during the season. Google searches, as well as social media mentions factor into a player’s PIP score, with Woods easily projected to take the top spot.
The program clearly does not value play, as Rickie Fowler is projected to land in the top 10 of PIP score, despite his status as the No. 82 ranked player in the world. Despite this, Fowler remains a popular name among golf fans and has a strong social media following.
The 15-time major champion Woods is far away the leader in social media footprint, with 6.5 million Twitter followers and 2.7 million Instagram followers. It’s likely a list that Woods will top until he hangs ’em up for good, with nobody else in golf near his popularity level.