By Richard Animam
Last week, Forbes reported that Tiger Woods was the first athlete to earn $1 billion. One problem, though: Woods says he doesnâ€™t have that much money. At a Presidents Cup news conference Tuesday, a reporter asked Woods directly about the Forbes report.
â€œThis last week, it was announced you hit the billionaire status. Whatâ€™s that like to learn?â€
Tiger Woods: [Laughs] â€œWell, one, I havenâ€™t, so I donâ€™t know where that number came from.â€
Forbes cited estimates of Woodsâ€™s earnings from endorsements, tournament winnings, appearance fees and his nascent golf-course design business. Other than tournament winnings, Forbes could only guess at the other income of the famously circumspect Woods, and the business magazine admitted its figures could not be exact.
As for Woods, only his accountant knows if Tiger is a billionaire athlete yet, but if it did not happen on Sunday [after his $10 million FedEx Cup win] it is likely only a matter of months or his next check from Nike.
Woods is certain to be the first billionaire athlete, but weâ€™ll never know when it happens. He likely wonâ€™t know right away either, and when he does learn, the only acknowledgment of the fact will probably be a private smile behind the tinted windows of a Buick SUV.