Woods tops highest paid athlete list

Boxing champion Floyd Mayweather knocked him out – briefly.

Yet the world’s No 1 golfer, Tiger Woods, has climbed back off the canvas to again reign supreme as the world’s highest-paid sportsman.

Tiger Woods Tiger Woods (Credit: Anthony Powter)

According to Forbes annual rankings, Woods was the world’s highest-paid athlete from 2001 until 2012.

But a brief form slump and lack of major victories saw Mayweather edge past Woods, who lost five sponsors, a reported $50m in annual income and even his world No 1 ranking as he battled to find his best form again.

It’s fair to say Woods has now done that with six victories in the past year as he has again become a contender in major championships.

According to Forbes, Woods has compiled more than $78m over the past year from prizemoney, endorsements, appearance fees and golf course design work.

And his return to form has seen his prizemoney over the past 12 months add up to more than $13m – double that of his previous year.

And with 78 career PGA Tour wins, Woods also finds himself just four wins short of the all-time record held by the late, great Sam Snead.

The top five highest-paid sportsmen in the world and their annual earnings are: Tiger Woods ($78.1m, golfer) 1, Roger Federer ($71.5m, tennis player) 2, Kobe Bryant ($61.9m, basketballer) 3, LeBron James ($59.8m, basketballer) 4, and Drew Brees ($51m, American footballer).

The next highest golfer to Woods is Phil Mickelson in seventh spot with annual earnings of $48.7m.

Mayweather has slumped to 14th spot with a mere $34m while Irish golf star Rory McIlroy is just outside the top 20, sitting comfortably in 21st spot with $29.6m.