Tiger Woods Lands in a Financial Sand Pit

by Todd Shriber

Times are tough for one-time golf king Tiger Woods, who sat out the British Open, one of golf’s four most prestigious events, due to a bum knee. Unfortunately for Woods, the knee isn’t the only thing that can be called “bum.” His personal finances might qualify for that dubious distinction as well.

As Fortune notes, Woods’ endorsement income has fallen considerably since his marital acrimony in 2009. Many athletes can rebound from infidelity to reclaim lucrative sponsorship deals, NBA star Kobe Bryant being one prominent example. But the sheer tawdriness of Woods’ off-the-course antics could hamper the golfer’s endorsement deals for years to come.

Endorsers have either dropped him altogether, as PepsiCo (PEP) and Procter & Gamble’s (PG) Gillette unit did, or scaled back his ads, as Nike (NKE) has. And given that Woods hasn’t won a tournament since 2009, it may not be surprising that he isn’t generating enough income to cover his lavish living expenses. He made $20 million from Nike in 2009, but just about half that last year, Fortune reports.

Woods has an ill-timed bet on Florida real estate going, which is probably weighing on his finances. The property tax on his Florida estate, which is valued at $47 million, is almost certainly quite high. Then there is his settlement with ex-wife Elin Nordegren, which the New York Daily News reported to be $110 million. That’s a lot of money going out without a lot coming in.

Don’t feel too sorry for Woods though because he should have some money in the bank. After all, he topped Sports Illustrated‘s “Fortunate 50” of the highest-earning U.S. athletes in 2010, raking in almost $62.3 million in earnings.

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