When it was announced that with his winnings in the recent Deutsche Bank Championship, Tiger Woods had reached the $100 million mark in money won on the PGA Tour, we bystanders lifted an eyebrow and said, "Oh, really? That's nice."
Much of the awe had gone out of that feat awhile back when we learned that with his winnings and ancillary income Tiger had become sports' first billionaire. And what is he, not even halfway to retirement age in the real world?
Even in these hard times, what kind of money does it take to shock us anymore when somebody wins roughly a million every week on the Tour?
The ten million bucks someone is going to win in the FedEx Cup competition concluding in a couple of weeks at the Tour Championship gets our attention at least. The winner is the man who accumulates the most points in a season-long competition that boils down to four closing events. Bill Haas won the ten mill last year.
Even $10 million doesn't have the jaw-dropping awe, though, that it might have elsewhere because there's so much of the stuff lying around pro golf's fairways nowadays it loses some of its meaning. Even some caddies are rich.
Money hardly comes up in conversation unless some stiff who beats a keyboard for a living has the poor taste to mention it.
The players don't talk about it unless asked. TV announcers dance around it. Oh, there's always an interview with a sponsor in which charitable donations are discussed. But prize money is not advanced as the goal of the cleated. It's all about glory, right?
It's easy to shrug about the money chase when guys finishing in, say, 30th place in a tournament can drive off with $30,000 or $40,000 week after week, many of them men who could walk into a Golf Galaxy store and not be recognized. That's how much is out there.
Among the players, the message has basically been, "Yeah, the money's nice, but I just want to win tournaments. I don't even think about the money until Sunday night."
That would be the voice of one of the Fortune 100, so to speak, guys who have won double digit millions in prize money, not to mention income from other sources, and a nice buffet in the clubhouse.
Even the wealthy will be thinking about the money when 30 of them play in the Tour Championship. One of them will claim the $10 million. It may even cross Tiger's mind.