Tiger Woods remains top earner

Amid a tempestuous year for Tiger Woods, the world number one golfer continues as the highest earner in sport

Tiger Woods, Round One of the Open, St Andrews

Tiger Woods remains as the world's highest earner in sport, it has been revealed.

Sports Illustrated's annual analysis of the highest-earning sportsmen places Woods in first position in both the American and international lists with an income of £59.6m. Forbes magazine also awards the accolade to the American.

It is the seventh consecutive year that Woods, who continues as the world number one golfer, has led the earnings rankings.

Fellow golfer Phil Mickelson is second behind Woods on the American list with an income of £40.6m. Tennis star Roger Federer, who tops the international table, earned just £100,000 more than the 2010 Masters champion last year.

The affable Mickelson is far closer to overtaking Woods at the top of the world golf rankings, but the latter has, so far, staved off 'Lefy's' threat.

Woods' life changed irreversibly in November last year when he crashed his car outside his Florida family home. The incident led to the public unravelling of his philandering lifestyle.

A consequent self-imposed break from golf amid ongoing allegations of adultery has clearly affected his game. Woods has since failed to add to his haul of 14 Majors, faltering at Augusta, Pebble Beach and St Andrews.

Woods, whose halo of superiority appears to have temporarily vanished, uncharacteristically switched putters for The Open, despite having won 11 Majors with his Scotty Cameron. He also continues without a coach.

Off the course, many believe that Woods' moral nadir came when his principal sponsor Nike sought to put a positive slant on his demise by casting the 34-year-old in an advert featuring the voice of his late father Earl.

However, in spite of the personal turmoil, Woods remains atop the sport earnings lists. His income has, though, decreased by 10 percent, thought largely to be a result of the estimated 30 percent reduction in his endorsement payments.

Most significantly, Woods was dropped by sponsor Accenture, the consulting behemoth, in the wake of the uncovering of his private-life scandal.

It is estimated that California-born Woods' pay last year was made up of £13.5m in earnings and £46.1m in endorsements.

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