NEW YORK– Tiger Woods is still the most overpaid athlete on the planet.
Woods, who missed the cut at the PGA Championship, was the ninth-highest paid athlete of the past 12 months according to a ranking by Forbes.
He made more than $50 million. Most of that money came from endorsements. Nike has continued to back Woods even though he has been a shell of his former self.
Woods won just $600,000 in prize money from golf tournaments in the past year. He missed the cut at last month’s British Open and June’s U.S. Open too.
But most of the other athletes in Forbes’ top ten ranking are still near the top of their game.
Boxer Floyd Mayweather was No. 1 — thanks to the huge paycheck he got for beating Manny Pacquiao in May. Pacquiao came in second.
Sure, the fight may have not lived up to the hype. But Mayweather is an undefeated champion who is ranked first pound for pound by boxing bible The Ring. And Pacquio still ranks sixth in the world despite losing to Mayweather.
Soccer stars Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are number 3 and 4 on the Forbes list.
LeBron James didn’t win the NBA championship this year … but his performance in the Finals proves he is still one of the top players in basketball. He ranked 6th on the Forbes list.
Two other hoops stars made the top 10 highest-paid athlete list too — Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant. Both of their seasons were cut short due to injuries. But they were each playing well before getting hurt.
Tennis player Roger Federer, who is thought to be past his prime, is still a contender. He just made it to the finals at Wimbledon, losing to Novak Djokovic.
But Woods now ranks 278th in the world. The only golfer making more than him? Phil Mickelson.
Lefty’s best golf may be behind him too. But he has least won a major championship recently — the British Open in 2013. He also finished in a tie for 2nd at this year’s Masters.
Tiger Woods’ last major win was way back in 2008 — before a sex scandal dented his reputation and popularity and injuries crippled his golf game.
It will be interesting to see how much longer Tiger Woods remains among the highest-paid athletes if he keeps stinking up the fairways.
He’s already lost several sponsorships over the past few years. Advertisers like to associate themselves with winners.
Father Time is not on his side either. Tiger Woods turns 40 in December. And there are two young stars in golf making waves: Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth.
McIlroy is the world’s top ranked golfer and has already won four majors, including last year’s PGA. He is just 26.
Spieth, a 22-year old Texan, won the Masters and U.S. Open this year and almost won the British Open as well.
Spieth has already cashed in with a multi-year sponsorship for Under Armour. Forbes estimates he made $19.8 million in the past year.
McIlroy, like Woods, endorses Nike. Forbes says he has made $48.3 million in the past year — $32 million from endorsements and $16.3 million from actually being good at the game of golf.
Earlier this year, video game maker EA replaced Woods with McIlroy on the cover of its popular PGA Tour Golf game.
So if McIlroy keeps winning, it won’t be long before he passes Woods on the wealthiest athlete list.