Perhaps it's Jordan's influence as well that keeps Tiger intensely focused on his game, despite the constant media frenzy and fishbowl existence. "I see him as a brother, handling a lot of the same pressures I did," Jordan told Newsweek. Or maybe it's just Tiger's way, because he'd been a single-minded competitor for years before Jordan befriended him. Steinberg says Tiger plans for the long term. Knowing that winning golf tournaments is the foundation for his off-the-course success, Woods turns down more than 99 percent of the offers that come his way.

"We have to be very careful that he's not overscheduled," says Steinberg, "that there's never a blip. He plans to compete at this level for the next 20 years."

Woods echoed that sentiment in an interview with USA Today earlier this year. "I'm just five years into my career," he said. "I'm just getting started." Six billion dollars, here he comes.

top endorsers
"tiger woods has replaced michael jordan as the world's top product endorser in a much shorter period of time than anyone could have imagined," says bob williams, president of burns sports & celebrities, which polls advertising and marketing executives to determine which athletes are the most sought-after for u.s. endorsements.

here's burns' 2001 list, along with the athletes' 2000 estimated earnings:
1. tiger woods, $44 million
2. michael jordan, $35 million
3. lance armstrong, $10 million
4. anna kournikova, $10 million
5. mia hamm, $ 2 million
6. marion jones, $ 2.7 million
7. andre agassi, $17.5 million
8. muhammad ali, n/a
9. kobe bryant, $10 million
10. wayne gretzky, n/a

an ad is born

the tiger woods you see on the course is much different from the one his associates say they see off of it.