Saturday, December 27, 2008
Golf's Top 50 Earners
Golf Digest's list of golf's top 50 earners (including both on- and off-course income) doesn't contain all that many surprises. Tiger's #1 by far ($117M+), Phil's #2 (although Vijay's win at Tiger's Chevron World Challenge puts him within half a million of his $44.85M total), Arnie, the Shark, and Jack are still in the top 10, and Els, Garcia, Harrington, and Furyk round it out. But only 8 guys made more off the course than Annika Sorenstam, who moved from 15th in '07 to 11th in '08 (almost $14.5M in all). Michelle Wie dropped from #12 to #24 overall (just over $7M, all but small change in endorsements and appearance fees, where she was 15th overall), but she stayed ahead of Paula Creamer, who jumped from #37 to #26 to pull within a half a million or so of her. (Before you complain, consider that John Daly came in at #30, with a similar imbalance in on- and off-course earnings.) Ji-Yai Shin beat Lorena Ochoa out for the #44 spot, even without her KLPGA winnings counting toward her on-course earnings. (As if Ochoa needs more motivation for 2009, she was also runner-up to a WNBA rookie for the AP's Female Athlete of the Year award after winning it a couple of years in a row.) It'll sure be interesting to see if more than 5 women can break through in 2009--and how many of them, if any, can surpass Annika.