Tiger Woods hasn’t won a golf tournament since 2009, sponsors have dumped him since his personal foibles became public and his earnings have fallen precipitously over the past couple years.
But don’t feel too sorry for him: Woods is still No. 1 by a long shot on the list of the highest-paid athletes in the world. According to Forbes, Tiger has made a cool $75 million over the past year, even though his on-course earnings for 2010 and ’11 total only about $1.9 million — relative chump change for a guy who averaged better than $8 million in winnings per year from 2000-09.
The bulk of Woods’ money comes from long-term endorsement deals with Nike and video-game maker EA, which set sales records with the newest version of its “Tiger Woods PGA Tour” game.
A pair of NBA stars, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James, rank second and third on the list with $53 million and $48 million apiece. The only female athlete on this year’s list is tennis star Maria Sharapova. She ranks 29th with earnings of $24.2 million, mostly from endorsements.
The 10 highest-paid athletes in the past year, according to Forbes:
1. Tiger Woods (golf), $75 million
2. Kobe Bryant (basketball), $53 million
3. LeBron James (basketball), $48 million
4. Roger Federer (tennis), $47 million
5. Phil Mickelson (golf), $46.5 million
6. David Beckham (soccer), $40 million
7. Cristiano Ronaldo (soccer), $38 million
8. Alex Rodriguez (baseball), $35 million
9. Michael Schumacher (auto racing), $34 million
10. Lionel Messi (soccer), $32.3 million