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Tiger pockets $15-M bonus

MIAMI (AFP) — Tiger Woods, who has played only nine competitive rounds in 2022, topped the PGA Tour’s Player Impact Program for the second consecutive year to claim a $15 million bonus, the tour announced Tuesday.

Woods, whose 82 PGA triumphs shares the all-time record with Sam Snead, led the analysis of global media exposure with top-ranked FedEx Cup winner Rory McIlroy second and Jordan Spieth third.

McIlroy, a four-time major winner, took home $12 million while Spieth, a three-time major champion, made $9 million.

The second-year impact program paid money to 23 players, the top 20 as planned plus three additional players who would have made the list under tweaked 2023 criteria — Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama and Americans Cameron Young and Sam Burns. Each will be paid $2 million.

The program, designed to reward those who delivered greater interest in the PGA, uses data measurement of internet searches, news article mentions, weekend television sponsor exposure, popularity measurement and social media reach and engagement.

Woods, a 15-time major winner who turns 47 next month, continued to recover this year from severe leg injuries suffered in a February 2021 car crash.

Woods finished 47th at the Masters in his return to competition, making the cut and battling through the walk over 72 holes at hilly Augusta National.

He made the cut in May at the PGA Championship at Southern Hills but withdrew due to leg pain after three rounds. Woods missed the cut at the British Open in July at St. Andrews.

Woods has announced he will play in next week’s Hero World Challenge, an invitational which he hosts in the Bahamas.

He also will partner with McIlroy against the US duo of Spieth and Justin Thomas, this year’s PGA Championship winner, in “The Match”, a 12-hole exhibition under lights next month at Pelican Golf Club in Belleaire, Florida.

There is also a chance that Woods will make a third consecutive appearance with son Charlie at the father-son PNC Championship in Orlando on 15 to 18 December.

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