Money might not grow on trees, but it damn sure grows on tees…
It still pays to be bad.
Tiger Woods, who no longer ranks as the world’s top-ranked golfer, still has the biggest wallet around.
Woods, who is sitting out the U.S. Open for the first time since 1994 with a bum leg and hasn’t won anything since before his dramatic fall from grace at the end of 2009, still pulled in enough endorsement dollars to lead the pack in Sports Illustrated’s annual list of the “Fortunate 50” – the highest-earning American athletes of 2011.
It’s the eighth straight year that Tiger has held onto the top of SI’s list, but his lead – like his world ranking – is shrinking … fast.
SI’s list combines salary, winnings, bonuses, endorsements and appearance fees.
The oversexed golf icon still managed to pull in $60 million from endorsers – Nike and EA the most notable of the bunch – while his winnings on tour came in at a very pedestrian $2,294,116.
He edged out rival Phil Mickelson by a mere $1.1 million. Lefty, who almost doubled Tiger’s winnings, pulled in $57 million from such companies as Callaway, KPMG, Rolex and ExxonMobil. It’s the second year that the two biggest names in American golf ranked 1-2.
Yankee slugger Alex Rodriguez, who is signed through 2017 as part of his 10-year $275 million megacontract, added $4 million in endorsements to his $32 million salary and is the highest ranking Big Apple star on the list, at No. 5. A-Rod also trails Heat star and NBA Finals flop LeBron James ($44,500,000) and Colts QB Peyton Manning ($38,070,000) on the list.
One ex-wife and a few hoes don’t stop no show.