Tiger Woods, Jim Furyk And Sports' Biggest Wallet-Shrinking Mistakes

Tom Kinslow@@TomKinslowFeatured ColumnistAugust 25, 2010

Tiger Woods, Jim Furyk And Sports' Biggest Wallet-Shrinking Mistakes

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    KOHLER, WI - AUGUST 15:  Jim Furyk watches his tee shot on the fourth hole during the final round of the 92nd PGA Championship on the Straits Course at Whistling Straits on August 15, 2010 in Kohler, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    Today Jim Furyk was supposed to tee off at the Barclay's. Too bad he overslept and was promptly disqualified from the event.

    I'm not sure Furyk will be able to live that down any time soon. With plenty of people laughing at Furyk's misfortune, it's time to rank the top 10 gaffes in sports that have cost athletes large sums of money.

#10: Sergio Garcia

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    KOHLER, WI - AUGUST 14:  Sergio Garcia of Spain watches his tee shot on the 11th hole during the continuation of the second round of the 92nd PGA Championship on the Straits Course at Whistling Straits on August 14, 2010 in Kohler, Wisconsin.  (Photo by S
    Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

    One of the more overrated players on the tour, Sergio Garcia made one of the more bonehead things possible during a round of golf—signing an incorrect scorecard.

    At the 2007 PGA Championship, Garcia signed a scorecard from partner Boo Weekley that said the golfer made a four on the 17th when he actually scored a five.

    Weekley tried to alert Garcia but the Spaniard just took off and was disqualified. With some of Sergio's actions on the course throughout his career, I can't say it wasn't deserved.

    Karma sucks, doesn't it Sergio?

    ESTIMATED MONEY LOST: Unknown—Winnings based on finish.

#9: Francisco Rodriguez

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    NEW YORK - AUGUST 14:  Francisco Rodriguez #75 of the New York Mets looks on after pitching in the ninth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies on August 14, 2010 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. The Phi
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    A sure fire way to get a team to come after your money is to get into a fight in the clubhouse, injuring yourself in the process.

    K-Rod punched his father-in-law in a scuffle, injuring his thumb  and effectively ending his season. The Mets are trying to avoid paying Rodriguez for the rest of the season.

    Maybe the closer should channel some of the effort he puts into that over-the-top, ludicrous behavior on the mound and put it into becoming a better pitcher so he can stop being an overrated, over-payed circus act.

    ESTIMATED MONEY LOST: Anywhere upwards of $29 million if the Mets waive Rodriguez

#8: Monte Ellis

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    OAKLAND, CA - MARCH 15:  Monta Ellis #8 of the Golden State Warriors reacts to a call during action against the Los Angeles Lakers during an NBA game at Oracle Arena on March 15, 2010 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and a
    Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    After telling the team he tore an ankle ligament working out during a pick-up game, speculation rose that Ellis injured himself while being reckless.

    The actual cause was a moped accident that tore the ligament. Ellis was suspended for 30 games without pay. The point guard only ended up playing in 25 games that year after playing in 81 the previous season.

    ESTIMATED MONEY LOST: $3 million

#7: Tank Johnson

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    CINCINNATI - DECEMBER 27:  Tank Johnson #99 of the Cincinnati Bengals celebrates defeating the Kansas City Chiefs in their NFL game at Paul Brown Stadium December 27, 2009 in Cincinnati, Ohio.    (Photo by John Sommers II/Getty Images)
    John Sommers II/Getty Images

    After battling some legal troubles, Tank Johnson managed to find himself on the end of some more.

    Police searched his house and found six firearms, including assault rifles. Did I mention he was also on probation at the time?  Oh, and there were children in the house.

    Johnson was suspended eight games by Roger Goodell in January of 2007. In June of that same year, Johnson was pulled over for driving 40 miles-per-hour in a 25. The Bears waived him shortly after.

    ESTIMATED MONEY LOST: $1,058,750

#6: Pacman Jones

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    NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 11:  Pacman Jones #32 of the Tennessee Titans returns a kickoff during their game against the Houston Texans on December 11, 2005 at the Coliseum in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
    Scott Halleran/Getty Images

    I could go on for days about the stupidity of Pacman Jones.

    There was the strip club melee that resulted in a man being shot and Jones finding himself on the end of a year-long suspension where he became a TNA wrestler.

    That resulted in Pacman being traded to Dallas and having his contract severely cut. Even then, he got into a fight with a team-hired bodyguard that resulted in him being kicked off the Cowboys.

    Now Jones is with the Bengals and it's only a matter of time before he screws up again.

    ESTIMATED MONEY LOST: $8.25 million

#5: Jay Williams

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    CHICAGO - JANUARY 13:  Jay Williams #22 of the Chicago Bulls smiles during the NBA game against the New York Knicks at the United Center on January 13, 2003 in Chicago, Illinois.  The Bulls won 101-94.  NOTE TO USER:  User expressly acknowledges and agree
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    What's the smart thing for the second pick in the draft and a former student at Duke do? Ride a motorcycle without a helmet, without a valid license and do something that's prohibited in your contract.

    Williams got into an accident severed a main nerve in his leg, fractured his pelvis and tore three ligaments in his knee. The guard was waived by the Bulls and given a $3 million dollar buyout. 

    Williams tried to come back from the injury but wasn't successful. While the injury was serious and life-threatening, it was so incredibly stupid and reckless.

    ESTIMATED MONEY LOST: $7.76 million

#4: Latrell Sprewell

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    LOS ANGELES - MARCH 31:  Latrell Sprewell #8 of the Minnesota Timberwolves looks on during a break in action against the Los Angeles Lakers on March 31, 2005 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agree
    Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

    There's a couple memorable moments from the boneheaded Sprewell.

    First there was the incident with his former coach P.J. Carlesimo, where he choked his coach and then returned to punch him in the face, being the classy individual that he is.

    That outburst cost him three years and $23.7 million on his contract and was suspended for a year by the NBA.

    But that didn't stop Sprewell. He returned to the league and became a productive player again. When he became a free agent, his last team, the Minnesota Timberwolves, offered him three years and $21 million.

    Sprewell turned down that deal saying it wasn't enough to feed his family. No team signed Sprewell and he hasn't played in the league since.

    Since then he's had a slew of financial troubles. Smooth move Spree.

    ESTIMATED MONEY LOST: $44.7 million total

#3: Plaxico Burress

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    LEBANON - JANUARY 14: New York Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress arrives at the Lebanon County Courthouse January 14, 2009 in Lebanon, Pa.  Burress is scheduled to appear in a civil trial in a dispute with an automobile dealer over what he owes in dama
    Chris Gardner/Getty Images

    You just helped your team end an undefeated season in the Super Bowl with a game-winning touchdown catch. What's a man to do? If your answer was, go to a nightclub with a handgun tucked into your sweatpants, then you're probably Plaxico Burress.

    Burress went out when he was supposed to be rehabbing a leg injury and didn't have a license for the gun in New York. The wide receiver accepted a plea deal that gave him two years of prison time.

    The Giants eventually released Burress from a five year, $35 million deal he signed the year before. Plaxico has become a running joke since then and he deserves it.

    ESTIMATED MONEY LOST: $35 million

#2: Mike Vick

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    CINCINNATI - AUGUST 20:  Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles runs off of the field during the NFL preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on August 20, 2010 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    One of the most electrifying players in recent memory, Michael Vick was one of the more dynamic threats in the NFL. He wasn't the best passer but was an unrivaled threat under center with his legs.

    However, Vick's career came crashing down when he was charged with dogfighting. Vick lost all of his endorsement deals and was suspended indefinitely without pay. The quarterback had to pay nearly $20 million back to the Falcons.

    What Vick did was some of the most horrible, awful things an athlete has ever done and his reputation will never be the same again.

    ESTIMATED MONEY LOST: $22 million plus unknown endorsement money

#1: Tiger Woods

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    PARAMUS, NJ - AUGUST 25:  Tiger Woods watches a shot during the pro-am prior to the start of The Barclays at the Ridgewood Country Club on August 25, 2010 in Paramus, New Jersey.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
    Scott Halleran/Getty Images

    Tiger Woods has always been looked at as the savior of golf. He injected energy into the sport and it became must-see TV when Tiger was on the course.

    He had millions of dollars in endorsements, was one of the most popular athletes in the world and seemed poised to break Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 major championship victories.

    Then there was a Thanksgiving car accident and the revelation that Woods was constantly cheating on his wife, who happened to be a Swedish supermodel, with all sorts of women from porn stars to pancake waitresses.

    There's two levels of stupid going on here. He cheated on a Swedish supermodel. A swedish supermodel is the dream and you upgraded to a....waitress at a pancake house? Smooth move Tiger.

    Not only that, you leave a message on a girl's phone saying "it's Tiger." How can you possibly deny that's you? There aren't millions of people named Tiger in this world. C'mon son.

    Secondly, you had everything possible and you ruined your image in a matter of weeks. You haven't won a tournament since and you lost tons of money in endorsements. I hope it was worth it.

    ESTIMATED MONEY LOST: $180 million plus a $750 million divorce settlement.

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