Tiger Woods was selected as Athlete of the Decade by U.S. sports editors, a result that reflects 10 years of greatness on the golf course rather than three weeks of headlines about a shocking sex scandal.
Woods received 56 of the 142 votes cast by Associated Press member newspaper editors since last month. More than half of the ballots were returned after the 27 November car accident outside his Florida home that set off sensational tales of infidelity.
Just like so many of his victories, it wasn’t much of a contest.
Lance Armstrong, a cancer survivor who won the Tour de France six times this decade, finished second with 33 votes. He was followed by Swiss tennis great Roger Federer, who won more Grand Slam singles, titles than any other man, with 25 votes.
Record-setting Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps came in fourth with 13 votes, followed by New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (6) and Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt (4). Five other athletes received one vote apiece.
Woods won 64 times around the world this decade, including 12 majors, and hoisted a trophy on every continent golf is played. He lost only one time with the lead going into the final round. His 56 PGA Tour victories were more than anyone except four of golf’s greatest players won in their careers.
Woods, who has not been seen since the accident and has issued only three statements on his website, was not made available to comment about the award.