tiger woods, money, billionaire, earnings, athlete, cashTiger Woods is on course to become the world’s first billionaire athlete in the year 2011. He’ll even accomplish this feat despite his messed up knee and his super hot wife (not sure how I can justify disadvantaging him for that but, whatever she’s still hot).

He’s an amazing golfer who is virtually unbeatable, but it also it doesn’t hurt that Tiger has been steadily bringing in an 8% return on all his off-the-course investments for several years now. He must know something the rest of us don’t. You probably get to schmooze with a lot of smart market analysts when you’re the greatest golfer who ever lived.

WSJ is saying however, that there are some potential setbacks that could deter Tiger from reaching this mark in a few years. Namely- further injuries, starting to suck at golf, and a colossal divorce. But how likely do those seem? My man Tiger definitely has some sort of pre-nup deal up in there with the missus, and who wrote that thing about him potentially ‘starting to suck’? Paddy Harrington?

Here are the numbers on Tiger that they’re spitting out:

Total earnings–$1 billion by 2010.

Minus taxes and Management fees–about $450 million.

Investment returns–about 8%.

Annual earnings (2007)–$115 million. (He will rake in about $90 million in endorsement contracts this year alone. Over the course of his career, he’s earned more than $750 million from such deals–against career winnings on the golf course of $94,038,162 world-wide through 2007.)

Anyone think there is an athlete alive today that could potentially beat Tiger to billionaire’s row?

Take a look at the list of last year’s top earners. No one else even comes close. But maybe pro-wrestler JBL will strike it rich with his sex potion sometime soon? We can only hope.

Forbes: Tiger’s Next Trophy: Billionaire, July 9, 2008 via WSJ, August 13, 2008

OTHER interesting Tiger News: His half eaten apples