By Richard Animam
Tiger Woods had an awful year. Last season ended in injury and last year ended withÂ him driving his SUV into a tree and all sorts of salacious details of his many randy, extra marital affairs becoming public in the most embarrassing fashion. The world’s top golfer and pitchman lost a few endorsements along the way and his overall income took a $9 million hit from 2009.
But he’s still No. 1 — by a long way — on Sports Illustrated’s annual list of the top 50 highest-earning athletes.
According to Sports Illustrated, Woods earned over $90.5 million in winnings and endorsements in the year from July 2009 to June 2010 — nearly $29 million more than the No. 2 earner, fellow golfer Phil Mickelson. Basketballer LeBron James slipped to No. 4 on the list, while Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez is No. 5, with a salary (including bonuses) of $33 million and another $4 million in endorsements.
Derek Jeter ($21 million salary; $10 million endorsements) is No. 8 on the list, and overall there are five Yankees (Rodriguez, Jeter, CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira and A.J. Burnett) in the top 50. Peyton (No. 9) and Eli (No. 13) Manning are high on the list as well. Eli, who is tied with Sabathia at No. 13, signed a new deal with the Giants a year ago to jump 30 spots on the list (he was 43 in 2009). He earned $19.5 million in salary and $7 million in endorsements.
Other local athletes on the list are Knicks forward Amar’e Stoudemire ($16.378 million salary, $6.75 million endorsements) at No. 23 and Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez ($16.462 million salary, $500,000 endorsements), who is No. 48.
The list is for the top 50 American athletes. The magazine also lists the top 20 international athletes a list that is topped by Roger Federer ($61.768 million).
That list includes international athletes David Beckham ($40.5 million), Ichiro Suzuki ($37 million), Yao Ming, Thierry Henry and Dirk Nowitzki, all of whom play professionally in U.S. sports leagues.