• Golf

Woods back on top of Forbes' rich list

ESPN staff
June 6, 2013
Tiger Woods is back to winning ways on the PGA Tour © Getty Images

Tiger Woods returned to the summit of golf's world rankings in March - and now the American is back on top of the Forbes 100 Highest Paid Athletes list.

The American had held both positions for several years until misdemeanours in his private life were made public and he took a self-imposed exile from the sport in 2009.

But a successful comeback, which has included seven wins in 18 months and the return of several sponsors, has seen the 37-year-old return to the top of the rich list.

Woods spent 11 years at the top of Forbes' prestigious list until 2012, when he was replaced by tennis star Roger Federer. But last year Woods banked $71.8 million (£50.7m) from earnings, sponsors and business ventures, including his golf course architecture company.

Forbes 100 Highest Paid Athletes: Top 10

  • 1. Tiger Woods (Golf) $ 78.1m
  • 2. Roger Federer (Tennis) $ 71.5m
  • 3. Kobe Bryant (Basketball) $ 61.9m
  • 4. LeBron James (Basketball) $ 59.8m
  • 5. Drew Brees (American Football) $ 51m
  • 6. Aaron Rodgers (American Football) $ 49m
  • 7. Phil Mickelson (Golf) $ 48.7m
  • 8. David Beckham (Football) $ 47.2m
  • 9. Cristiano Ronaldo (Football) $ 44m
  • 10. Lionel Messi (Football) $ 41.3m

Federer drops to second in the list for 2013 having earned $71.5m (£46.4m), which includes an impressive portfolio of endorsements, with ten sponsors collectively paying the Swiss ace $65m (£42m) a year.

Basketball stars Kobe Bryant and LeBron James follow, just ahead of American football players Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers. A second golfer, Phil Mickelson, also makes the top five.

The highest paid Brit is David Beckham in eighth. The former Manchester United and Real Madrid midfielder collected $47.2m (£30.6m), while fellow footballers Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi make up the top ten.

In the top 100, baseball is the most represented sport on the list with 27 stars present. The list is made up of athletes from 11 different sports, hailing from 23 different countries.

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