Tiger Woods remains the PGA Tour's most-popular golfer, despite his hiatus from competition. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo
March 2 (UPI) -- Tiger Woods, who played his most recent golf tournament in 2020, is the first winner of the PGA Tour's Player Impact Program bonus, the PGA Tour announced Wednesday.
Woods will receive $8 million for finishing at the top of the Player Impact Program standings, which rank each golfer in terms of popularity.
The 15-time major champion still is recovering from major leg injuries he sustained in a Feb. 23, 2021, car crash. He tied for 38th in his last official PGA Tour event, the 2020 Masters Tournament.
Phil Mickelson finished second in the inaugural Player Impact Program standings.
Woods jabbed Mickelson on social media when he was named winner of the bonus. Mickelson, Woods' longtime rival, announced on social media in December that he would be the top winner.
"Whoops," Woods tweeted.
Mickelson will receive a $6 million consolation prize for his runner-up performance. The six-time major winner announced last month that he would take a break from golf after he made "reckless" comments about the PGA Tour and the organizers of a Saudi-backed breakaway league.
Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Bryson DeChambeau, Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Jon Rahm and Bubba Watson also placed inside the Top 10 in the standings.
Those Top 10 finishers will receive a total of $40 million. Independent auditor Grant Thornton certified the results from the data, which was pulled last year from Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, using internet searches, news articles, social media, TV sponsorships and a general awareness score.
Woods, 46, participated in the 2021 PNC Championship with 12-year-old son Charlie in December in Orlando, Fla.
He said in November that he doesn't expect to return as a full-time player on the PGA Tour.