After several years of not being at the top of his game, Tiger Woods has been making a comeback. He’s also back in the news for his new documentary, Tiger Slam, commemorating his legendary 2000-01 season. It’s clear Woods’ game has moved past his 2009 divorce drama, but have his finances?
The messy divorce sparked a media frenzy, costing Woods many endorsements on top of typical divorce expenses. Surprisingly, the ramifications of Woods’ personal life barely dented his net worth.
A 9 iron, a car accident, and endless affairs
In 2009, on Thanksgiving evening, Woods’ life changed forever. As Sports Illustrated reports, Police were called to his Orlando home after he drove his Escalade into a fire hydrant and a tree on his property. His wife, Elin Nordegren, was at the scene visibly upset and holding a 9 iron, which she said she used to get her husband out of his wrecked SUV.
Rumors circulated that the accident was the result of Elin discovering Woods’ infidelities, at which point she chased him with the golf club. Both Woods and his wife have denied this claim. The details of Thanksgiving 2009 might never be 100% clear, but the night sparked the unraveling of Woods’ family and his public reputation.
Soon after the accident, reports surfaced about Woods’ infidelity. Women began stepping forward with the stories of their trysts. December 11, Woods announced an indefinite break from golf and reportedly entered rehabilitation for sex addiction. Sponsors, including his two largest, Gatorade and AT&T, ended their contracts with the disgraced athlete. Only Nike continued to endorse Woods.
Financial effects of Woods’ drama
Divorce is painful and expensive for everyone, and Woods is far from the exception. Along with the public drama, he also lost a lot of money. Woods’ wife would walk from the divorce with a $100 million settlement for their five-year marriage, according to Forbes. Reportedly at that time, Woods was worth $600 million, so this was a huge financial setback.
On top of the divorce settlement, Woods lost millions in lost endorsements. Business Insider reported Woods lost $22 million in endorsements in 2010. He was, however, still the highest-paid athlete and continued his partnership with Nike. The events in 2009 affected Woods’ finances but didn’t devastate them.
Woods now boasts a net worth of over $800 million. On top of his loyal Nike partnership, Woods has endorsements deals with Monster Energy and Kowa. He also produced his own line of golf clubs in his collaboration with TaylorMade and endorsed Rolex.
Woods came back professionally and financially
On the golf course, Woods struggled after his return to pro golf in 2010. He did not win another major championship for 11 years. Although it might be an instinct to blame the change in performance on personal reasons, Woods blames his losses on injuries.
Knee and back injuries have riddled Woods for the past decade. In fact, Woods’ biggest regret is not his affairs, but his heavy running, which he blames for his physical struggles.
Luckily for fans, Woods’ determination and passion have resulted in an unbelievable professional comeback. After four back surgeries, including a fusion, he had to relearn his swing. In 2018, things began to look up as he finished in the top 10 in the British Open and the PGA Championship. His winning streak would not end there.
Woods went on to win the 2019 British Open Championship. Despite his flaws, he proved that he could overcome injury and scandal. He has regained his confidence on the golf course and more than regained any financial hardship his divorce caused.