The first athlete billionaire, who made his fortune in sports only, will appear in the world by 2011, Forbes magazine wrote. According to this respectable magazine, it will be world-famous US golfer Tiger Woods, who is currently reputed to be the richest athlete in the world.
Woods, the repeated winner of most prestigious competitions in golf, made $117 million in 2007 alone. For you to compare: British football star David Beckham, whom Forbes listed as world’s second richest athlete, made a lot less in 2007 - $65 million.
Tiger Woods will thus become the first billionaire on the planet, who managed to amass great fortune with the help of his sports talent only.
However, the golfer does participate in advertising campaigns. He appeared in commercial ads for Nike, Buick and Gillette.
According to Golf Digest, Woods made $769,440,709 from 1996 to 2007, and the magazine predicts that by 2010, Woods will become the world's first athlete to pass one billion dollars in earnings.
Woods has won fourteen professional major golf championships, the second highest of any male player, and 65 PGA Tour events, third all time. He has more career major wins and career PGA Tour wins than any other active golfer. He is the youngest player to achieve the career Grand Slam, and the youngest and fastest to win 50 tournaments on tour.
Woods has held the number one position in the world rankings for the most consecutive weeks and for the greatest total number of weeks. He has been awarded PGA Player of the Year a record nine times, the Byron Nelson Award for lowest adjusted scoring average a record eight times, and has tied Jack Nicklaus' record of leading the money list in eight different seasons. He has been named Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year a record-tying four times, and is the only person to be named Sports Illustrated's Sportsman of the Year more than once.
Woods, who is multiracial, is credited with prompting a major surge of interest in the game of golf. He dramatically increased attendance and TV ratings and generated interest among a multicultural audience in a game that used to be considered insular and elitist.
After winning the 2008 U.S. Open, Woods is sitting out the rest of the 2008 PGA Tour, missing two major championships and the 2008 Ryder Cup, in order to concentrate on the rehabilitation of his injured left knee.