Tiger Woods still No. 1 earning athlete in the world

Detroit: Professional golfer Tiger Woods has been off his game since his extramarital affairs were exposed last year, but he is still the world`s highest earning athlete, according to two lists released on Wednesday.

Woods claimed the top spot on a 2010 U.S. list of 50 athletes for the seventh consecutive year compiled by Sports Illustrated, though his total earnings fell 10 percent to USD 90.5 million. His total is also down 40 percent from USD 127.9 million in 2008.

Woods also topped Forbes magazine`s 2010 list of the top 50 earning athletes in the world at USD 105 million, down 4.5 percent from last year as the star golfer has lost such sponsors as Accenture Plc and AT&T Inc. It was the ninth consecutive year he topped the Forbes list.

Overall, the average earnings for the entire U.S. list at a website rose 11 percent to a record USD 26.2 million, and were up 1.7 percent to USD 30 million for 20 international stars.

Tennis star Roger Federer, at USD 61.8 million, bumped soccer player 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 USD 20.5 million in earnings and USD 70 million in endorsements from such sponsors as Nike Inc and Electronic Arts Inc. Woods` endorsement earnings fell USD 22 million 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 U.S. list at USD 61.7 million, and the top 10 included four players from the National Basketball Association, led by LeBron James at No. 4 (USD 45.8 million), SI.com said.

The top 10 also included boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr (No. 3 at USD 60.3 million), two Major League Baseball stars, including Alex Rodriguez at No. 5 (USD 37 million), and Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning of the National Football League (No. 9 at USD 30.8 million).

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

Rounding out the international top five were soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo (USD 40 million) and boxer Manny Pacquiao (USD 38 million).

Basketball player Allen Iverson, No. 8 on last year`s U.S. list, dropped entirely out of the top 50. Tennis player Maria Sharapova was the only female athlete to make either list, ranking No. 20 on the international list at USD 19.9 million.

Rounding out Forbes` top five were boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr (USD 65 million), NBA star Kobe Bryant (USD 48 million), Mickelson (USD 46 million) and Beckham (USD 43.7 million). Federer (USD 43 million), James (USD 42.8 million) and Pacquiao ($42 million) were next on the list, which previously ranked the top 20.

Bureau Report


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