GOLF legend Tiger Woods has been officially declared a billionaire.
The 15-time Major winner, 46, is joining the elite club despite snubbing the lucrative Saudi-backed LIV Tour.
Greg Norman announced that Woods was offered nearly $1 billion to enter the new competition, which began June 9.
Tiger turned down the deal as he wants to return to full-time golf after a near-fatal car accident in February 2021.
And now Forbes has confirmed that he is the third athlete in history to achieve billionaire status.
NBA legend Michael Jordan was the first to reach this incredible milestone before being joined by fellow basketball superstar LeBron James earlier this month.
Forbes estimates that less than 10 percent of Wood’s career income and net worth comes from golf course winnings.
Instead, it’s his highly marketable brand and endorsements that see him achieve the historic milestone.
Woods signed with Nike in 1996 and they remain his biggest supporter while he also has big deals with TaylorMade, Rolex and Gatorade.
LeBron and Jordan benefited from similar endorsements, with Jordan investing in the Charlotte Hornets in time to see his own personal rocket ship.
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Tiger Woods was golf.
“WE SPEAK NINE DIGITS”
Reportedly, TV viewership would drop by 30 to 50 percent if he didn’t play, so naturally the broadcasters were keen to get him on the box.
And that meant it was hugely popular with brands looking to reach global audiences.
Woods has fifteen majors to his name, as well as 81 PGA Tour wins and 41 European Tour wins.
The insane offer from Norman and the LIV series was turned down by Woods, who made his long-awaited return to the game at this year’s Masters.
Norman said: “Woods turned down a deal that was overwhelmingly large; we are talking about high nine-digit numbers.
“The players that decide to come on board, God bless them… they’re going to make a lot of money.”
Off the course, Woods enjoys a luxurious lifestyle befitting his billionaire status.
He lives in the exclusive area of Jupiter, Florida and resides in a stunning $48 million mansion.
Not only does it have its own four-hole golf course, but the pad has a 100-foot swimming pool, an outdoor basketball court, and a tennis court.
Woods also owns restaurants in the area and even bought a piece of land nearby to build a home for Mama Kultida.
And with a luxurious $63 million Gulfstream G550 private jet, he’s never far from his destination.
The cruiser has a top speed of 680 mph and can fly a whopping 7,767 miles without needing a pit stop.
Tiger’s comeback was put on hold at the PGA Championship after being forced to retire in the third round.
He said, “Well, I’m sore.
“I know that’s a fact. We’ll do some work and see how it goes.”
Woods has already announced that he will not compete in the US Open, which begins June 16 in Brookline, Massachusetts.
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/5533477/tiger-woods-billionaire-lebron-james-michael-jordan/ Tiger Woods joins LeBron James and Michael Jordan as official billionaire despite snubbing lucrative LIV tour