Tiger Woods APís top athlete of the decadeDecember 17 2009 at 9:33 AM
Tiger Woods APs top athlete of the decade
Tiger Woods (R) hugs his caddie Steve Williams after he made a long putt on the 18th green to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational PGA golf tournament at the Bay Hill Club in Orlando on Sunday.
Photograph by: Hans Deryk, Reuters
By Canwest News ServiceDecember 16, 2009 5:23 PM
Tiger Woods may be better known for his off-course antics these days, but his golfing skills Tuesday earned him the Associated Press athlete of the decade honours.
Woods posted 64 victories during the last 10 years, including 12 majors.
Among his golf exploits during the decade are an amazing 56 PGA Tour victories, earning him 56 of 142 votes by AP member editors.
Despite the tsunami of negative publicity that will likely tarnish his image, there's no denying that Woods on-the-course accomplishments set a new standard of dominance within his sport while making golf more accessible to the masses, Stu Whitney, sports editor of the Sioux Falls (S.D.) Argus Leader, wrote to the Associated Press.
A Nov. 27 car accident outside his Florida home turned to boil simmering tales of infidelity. At last count, Woods was said to have had as many as 14 mistresses.
More than 50 per cent of the ballots were returned following the accident.
Cyclist Lance Armstrong, who fought off cancer and who won the Tour de France six times during the 10-year span, was second with 33 votes, while tennis star Roger Federer was third. Federer had 25 votes.
Record-setting Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps was fourth with 13 votes, while New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (6) and sprinter Usain Bolt (4) also received multiple votes. Woods won $81,547,410 US this decade on the PGA Tour, an average of nearly $500,000 per tournament.
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