Originally created 11/10/99

Tiger Woods is right on the money



PGA Tour money records are rarely the best gauge of a player's success because the purses are not comparable from year to year, and are even more out of whack when comparing generations.

True, the $6.6 million won by Tiger Woods is more than Jack Nicklaus won in his entire career -- with nearly $1 million to spare. And in just more than three years on tour, Woods improved to No. 5 on the career money list.

The measure of Woods' greatness this season, at least in terms of money, is how long this record stands.

A single-season money record on the PGA Tour has been set every year since Nick Price won nearly $1.5 million in 1993. Whether anyone can top $6.6 million -- unless it's Woods, of course -- during the length of the tour's four-year television contract remains to be seen.

The longest any player has held a money record was eight years by Byron Nelson. He started in 1945, the year he won 11 straight tournaments and 18 for the season. His earnings were $63,335.66 (every penny mattered in those days), and was not topped until Bob Toski won $65,819.81 in 1954.

The purse in 1945 was $435,380, meaning Nelson won 15 percent of the total purse. Woods won about 4.9 percent of the estimated $135 million purse in 1999.

He was helped by winning three key events -- two World Golf Championship titles paid $1 million each and the Tour Championship victory paid $900,000.

For what it's worth, those paychecks alone represent more than Johnny Miller won in his career.

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KUEHNE FUTURE: Former U.S. amateur champion Hank Kuehne has a lot in common with younger sister Kelli -- plenty of endorsements but not much of an arena.

Kuehne was among those who failed to advance past the second stage of PGA Tour qualifying school last week, missing the playoff by three strokes. That means he won't even have a card for the Buy.com Tour (formerly Nike Tour).

"He'll just play the exemption game," said Mike Biggs at Cornerstone Sports, which represents the long-hitting Kuehne.

Kuehne will play one event in Australia and one in Japan this year, and he can get as many as seven sponsors' exemptions to PGA Tour events. Sponsor exemptions on the Buy.com Tour are unlimited.

Brad Elder was in the same spot this year, but played well enough on the Nike Tour to become a special temporary member and wound up in the top 15 to get his PGA Tour card.

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PUTT FOR A MILLION: Kim Haas has been practicing 10-foot putts on her living room carpet in Dubuque, Iowa, the past month, and for good reason.

Haas, a 36-year-old mother of three, will face a 10-foot putt at the Westin Innisbrook Resort in Palm Harbor, Fla., on No. 28 that could be worth $1 million in the Gillette Putting Challenge. Another $1 million would go to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

Haas was randomly selected in August, and made a 10-footer worth $25,000 (half toward the Komen Foundation) to qualify for the big money.

"I'm just going to line it up, give it a roll and hope it goes in," she said.

History is not on her side. In the three years Gillette has sponsored the putting bonanza, no one has made the $1 million putt.

Should she miss, Haas and the Komen Foundation will each get $25,000.

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GREENSBORO HOME: The Greater Greensboro Classic may finally be getting a new home. The Greensboro Jaycees plan to buy 225 acres in eastern Guilford County to build a new course for the PGA Tour event it has sponsored since 1938.

Forest Oaks Country Club has been the host site for more than two decades, but it has never been popular among the tour or players.

The Jaycees have a contract with Forest Oaks through 2003, and hope to have a new course ready by 2004.

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SHARK'S WATERS: As expected, the Shark Shootout will be played at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, Calif., for the last time this week.

Greg Norman's tournament is moving to Florida next year, but not to his newly designed Tiburon course in Naples, Fla.

Instead, the Shark Shootout will move to the Great White Course at Doral Golf Resort in Miami.

The Great White Course will be unique. Initial plans allow for only short grass, sand and water. Norman also plans what is believed to be the first triple-green on the new course.

The move is designed to accommodate live network television, which is easier to do on the East Coast than in California. CBS Sports will have more flexibility to mix the Shark Shootout with its football broadcasts.

"Sherwood Country Club has been a tremendous venue in which to stage this competition," Norman said. "We'll miss the hospitality afford to us at Sherwood, but believe it is in the best interest of the tournament to relocate it to the East Coast."

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DIVOTS: The father of Billy Mayfair died Saturday when he had a heart attack while driving his car. Mayfair's mother was in the car and is in stable condition. ... As if Tiger Woods hasn't won enough money this year, he also pocketed $250,000 for having the most earnings in the three World Golf Championship events. ... Danny Yates, captain of the U.S. Walker Cup team that got drubbed by Britain and Ireland in September, has been appointed captain for the 2001 team. ... The Match Play Championship is changing its format for next year because of television. Instead of the third round and quarterfinals being played on Friday, the quarterfinals and semifinals will be played Saturday.

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STAT OF THE WEEK: The money Tiger Woods earned in his final four tournaments would have placed him second on the money list.

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FINAL WORD: "I reach over and press down the alarm. And I jog to the bathroom." European Ryder Cup captain Mark James, on his fitness program.