Tiger remains top earner

2010-07-21 19:59
Tiger Woods (AFP)

Detroit - Professional golfer Tiger Woods has been off his game since his extramarital affairs were exposed last year, but he's still the world's highest earning athlete, according to 2010 rankings released on Wednesday.

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

Overall, the average earnings for the entire US list rose 11% to a record $26.2m, and were up 1.7% to $30m for 20 international stars, according to

Tennis star Roger Federer, at $61.8m, bumped soccer player David Beckham from the spot he had held the last two years on the international list, said.

Woods' earnings for the 2010 list are comprised of $20.5m in earnings and $70m in endorsements from such sponsors as Nike Inc and Electronic Arts Inc , said. Woods' endorsement earnings fell $22m from last year's list.

Woods' personal life took center stage for fans after a car accident outside his Florida home last November 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 National Basketball Association, led by LeBron James at No. 4 ($45.8m), said.

The top 10 also included boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr (No. 3 at $60.3m), two Major League Baseball stars, including Alex Rodriguez at No. 5 ($37m), and Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning of the National Football League (No. 9 at $30.8m), 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 soccer player of the year Lionel Messi at $44m, according to

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

Basketball player Allen Iverson, No. 8 on last year's US list, dropped entirely out of the top 50, said. Tennis player Maria Sharapova was the only female athlete to make either list, ranking No. 20 on the international list at $19.9m.

The full lists are available at

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