Golf legend Tiger Woods announced Wednesday he plans to return to professional golf in October after taking time off to recover from offseason back surgeries. Woods posted to his website that he's targeting to play three upcoming tournaments, starting with the Safeway Open in Napa California, scheduled for Oct. 13-16.
"My rehabilitation is to the point where I'm comfortable making plans, but I still have work to do," Woods said in a statement. "Whether I can play depends on my continued progress and recovery. My hope is to have my game ready to go."
While Woods has sat out the entire 2015-2016 season, the 14-time major winner remains the wealthiest professional golfer ever. Woods was estimated last year by both Forbes and the Huffington Post to be worth some $700 million. That's largely the work of deals with major brands like Nike and Buick. The golfer has pulled in about $110 million in PGA Tour earnings throughout his career.
"Woods has earned $1.35 billion since turning pro in 1996 with barely 10 [percent] of the total derived from prize money on the golf course," Forbes wrote at the time.
Woods made just $274,000 in salary and tournament earnings in 2016, a figure dwarfed by his massive $45 million haul from endorsement income, Forbes estimated. He was ranked as the 12th highest-earning athlete in 2016 and the 51st highest-earning celebrity.
Despite not picking up a club in a real competition all year, Woods was still pegged by Forbes as the third-highest-earning golfer in 2016. He was outpaced by Phil Mickelson, who earned $52.9 million last year with his $2.9 million salary and about $50 million in endorsements. Jordan Spieth came in second, with yearly earnings of $52.8 million from $20.8 million in winnings and $32 million in endorsements.
The winner can expect to pull in about $1 million at the Napa tournament where Woods is planning his return. Woods could probably find that in his couch cushions.