Singh tops Woods' prize-money record

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The Independent Online

Fiji's Vijay Singh became the first player in PGA Tour history to earn more than $10m (£5.46) in a single season by winning the Chrysler Championship on Sunday. Singh polished off his ninth victory of the season in style, making a birdie at the 18th hole to shoot a six-under-par 65 for the round and an 18-under 266 for the tournament.

The world No 1 finished five shots ahead of the runners-up, Sweden's Jesper Parnevik and Tommy Armour III. Joe Durant, with an eight-under 63, took fourth on 272, while Kirk Triplett was placed fifth another shot back.

The Chrysler pay-off of $900,000 boosted Singh's earnings to $10,725,166 and broke Tiger Woods' mark of $9,188,321 in 2000. "I'm really excited, an unbelievable day today," Singh said. "I really wanted to win this one. I achieved what I set out to do this morning and just played solid golf." Singh also became the first player since Woods in 2000 to win nine titles in one season. Singh gets a shot at his 10th win next week in the season-ending Tour Championship.

The last player to win at least 10 titles in a season was Sam Snead, who had 11 victories in 1950. Singh will have little time to celebrate his achievement. Yesterday he left for Atlanta's East Lake Golf Club.

"I'm not one for stats, not one to keep records," Singh said. "I just feel it's been an incredible year for me. These wins, I just haven't really sat down and really thought about it, what I've done. I have not enjoyed it yet. No matter how hard I try, it might be almost an impossible thing to do again. You never know, we'll try again next year."

With none of the contenders making a move on Sunday, Singh separated himself from the field early. He reached three-under on his round through five holes, then put together back-to-back birdies at the ninth and 10th. Another birdie at the 13th all but sealed the title.

Top dollar: earnings league

Vijay Singh: $10,725,166 (£5.46m) Leading the PGA Tour money list by over $5m.

Dale Earnhardt Jr: $6,631,920 Highest-earning NASCAR driver in 2004.

Phil Mickelson: $5,672,323 Second on the 2004 PGA Tour money list.

Roger Federer: $4,837,547 Highest-earning tennis player in 2004.

Annika Sorenstam: $2,179,707 highest-earning woman golfer in 2004.

Svetlana Kuznetsova: $1,888,578 highest-earning female tennis player in 2004

Maria Mutola: Mozambique athlete. Winner of the IAAF Golden League $1 million dollar jackpot, earned at least $1,330,624 in 2003.

Ronnie O'Sullivan: £502,000 highest-earning snooker player in 2004.