Jon Rahm Named Second Highest-Paid Athlete In The World After LIV Golf Move

The Spaniard’s move to LIV Golf has made him one of the highest-paid athletes in the world according to the Forbes list

Jon Rahm during LIV Golf Singapore
LIV Golf's Jon Rahm has been named the second-highest paid athlete in the world
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Five golfers feature on the latest Forbes list of the 50 highest-paid athletes in the world, with Jon Rahm coming in second behind only soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.

Rahm’s inclusion on the list, which tracks income earned between 1 May 2023 and 1 May 2024, is not unexpected following his huge deal to sign for LIV Golf last December. However, given his support for the PGA Tour before joining, his decision to consider a switch to LIV Golf raised eyebrows, but he later admitted the money on offer had come into his thinking.

Rahm’s total earnings are reported as $218m, with Ronaldo out in front at $260m thanks to his move to Saudi club Al Nassr. Rahm’s play-related earnings were reportedly $198m, with endorsements and sponsorships accounting for another $20m. Rahm, who is 29, is one of 22 players under 30 on the list.

Further down the list in 19th is Rory McIlroy. Despite once again failing to add to his four Major titles, the most recent two of which came in 2014, he remains one of the game’s biggest needle movers, and hasn’t spent time outside the top three in the world rankings since 2022 after another successful PGA Tour season.

McIlroy, who became one of several big-name investors in F1 team Alpine in 2023, had earnings of $80.1m, with over half of that coming from off-course ventures.  

Rory McIlroy takes a shot during the PGA Championship

Rory McIlroy is the game's second-highest earner

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Despite only limited competitive action due to injury, the money kept rolling in for 15-time Major winner Tiger Woods, who is 23rd on the list with on-course earnings of $12.2m dwarfed by other earnings of $55m to bank him a total of $67.2m.

Six places beneath him stands current World No.1 Scottie Scheffler, who had total earnings of $59.2m during the period, with $39.2m of that coming from his huge success on the course, which has included four wins in 2024 alone.

Scottie Scheffler takes a shot during the PGA Championship

Scottie Scheffler has been in the form of his career

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Following his move to LIV Golf in 2022, Cameron Smith has also cashed in. The Ripper GC captain sits 43rd on the list with total earnings of $48m and all but $4m coming from his success on the course, which included two wins on the big-money circuit over the time period.

In 2023, LIV golfers Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson featured in the top 10 of the list, but both have now dropped out of the top 50.

You can view the full Forbes list here.

Mike Hall
News Writer

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.