Tiger top earner in the world of sport

TIGER WOODS has been off his golf game since his extramarital affairs were exposed last year, but he’s still the world’s highest earning athlete, according to 2010 rankings released yesterday.

Woods claimed the top spot on a US list of 50 athletes for the seventh consecutive year, though his total earnings fell 10% to $90.5 million (€70 million), according to Sports Illustrated’s SI.com. His total is also down 40% from $127.9m in 2008.

On the list of top 20 international (non-US stars), tennis ace Roger Federer, at $61.8m, bumped David Beckham from the top spot he had held the last two years on the international list.

Woods’ earnings for the 2010 list are comprised of $20.5m in earnings and $70m in endorsements from sponsors like Nike and computer gamemaker EA. Woods’ endorsement earnings fell $22m from 2009.

Woods’ personal life took centre stage for fans after a car accident outside his Florida home last year brought to light extramarital affairs and led him to make a public apology. He has played several tournaments since his April return from a self-imposed, five-month exile but has yet to win.

Rival golfer Phil Mickelson came in second on the 2010 US list at $61.7m, and the top 10 included four players from the NBA, led by LeBron James at No. 4 ($45.8m), SI.com said.

The top 10 also included boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr (No. 3 at $60.3m), two Major League Baseball stars, including New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez at No. 5 ($37m), and Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning of the NFL (No. 9 at $30.8m), SI.com said.

On the international list, Federer jumped from No. 9 last year as his earnings doubled, while Beckham slipped to No. 3 at $40.5m behind FIFA world player of the year Lionel Messi at $44m, according to SI.com.

Rounding out the international top five were Cristiano Ronaldo ($40m) and boxer Manny Pacquiao ($38m).

Tennis player Maria Sharapova was ranked No. 20 on the international list with earnings estimated at $19.9m.


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