Tiger Woods used to be one of the world’s highest-paid athletes. He was the undisputed heavyweight champion of endorsement cash.
Phil Mickelson has passed Woods in that department, $40 million to $37 million and when you consider the fact that Woods has been a ghost on the golf course the past few years, it’s amazing that he still pulls in $37 million.
The Forbes Magazine accounting of the world’s highest-paid athletes show us that Rory McIlroy is the top earner among all golfers, thanks to the $10 million FedEx Cup bonus last year.
McIlroy hauled in $50 million, tying for sixth with Indy Colts quarterback Andrew Luck. Rory’s on-course earnings were $16 million with another $34 million in endorsement earnings.
Mickelson was outside the top 10, coming in at No. 12 with $3.5 million on the course and a fat $40 million in endorsements, best of any golfer.
Woods hasn’t earned enough on the course to pay the taxes on his estate but still hauls in $37 million in endorsement income, the main reason why he stated “unequivocally” that he wants to play professional golf again. If he is unable to play, most of that money will disappear.
Overall, Woods was 17th on the list.
Jordan Spieth checked in at 21 with $5.5 million on the course, another $29 million off the links.
World’s No. 1 Dustin Johnson was way down the list at No. 48. D.J. earned a fat $16.6 million playing but a measly $11 million in endorsement money. Peanuts!
Soccer players still register as the world’s highest-paid guys. Cristiano Ronaldo hauls in $58 million for playing and another $35 million in endorsement money.
LeBron James earns a Kingly $86.2 million — $31.2 million on his Cavs contract and a fat $55 million off the court.
One thing all these guys have in common is that they are in serious need of tax accounting work.