Tiger Woods tops highest-paid athlete list

Story highlights

  • World No. 1 golf player Tiger Woods named the world's highest-paid athlete
  • The American earned $78.1 million in the 12 months up to June 1, 2013
  • Tennis star Roger Federer second on the list after topping the pile in 2012
  • NBA icons Kobe Bryant and LeBron James are third and fourth respectively

The last 12 months have seen Tiger Woods climb back to the top of the golf rankings, and now the 14-time major winner has reclaimed his crown as the world's highest-paid athlete.

Forbes estimates Woods' earnings for the 12 months to June 1 this year total $78.1 million, putting him ahead of tennis ace Roger Federer -- who topped the 2012 list.

The top 10 features two golfers, three soccer players, two NFL quarterbacks, two NBA stars and one tennis player.

The 100-strong list compiled by the influential business magazine features just three women, the highest-ranked of which is world No. 2 tennis player Maria Sharapova in 22nd place with earnings of $22 million.

Read: Forbes' full list

Woods has started 2013 in fine form, winning four PGA Tour titles so far this year. The 37-year-old pocketed $13.1 million in winnings over the last 12 months.

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He has also cashed in on appearances fees, collecting over $10 million for playing in Abu Dhabi, China, Malaysia and Turkey.

Federer has won more grand slams than any other male tennis player in history with 17. The Swiss had total earnings last year of $71.5 million -- $14 million of which came from playing six exhibition events during a tour of South America.

Like Woods, Federer earns an estimated $65 million through endorsements, and both players are long-term members of Nike's stable of athletes. According to his agent Mark Steinberg, Woods is close to signing a new deal with the American sportswear giant.

Read: Bundesliga 'most profitable' league

NBA icons Kobe Bryant and LeBron James are third and fourth on the list respectively.

Bryant's salary with the Los Angeles Lakers is the highest in basketball at $27.85 million a year, $7 million more than any other player.

Miami Heat's "King James" earns $42 million from endorsements with major companies like Nike, McDonald's, Coca Cola and Samsung.

Quarterbacks Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints and the Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers benefited from lucrative playing contracts worth $100 million and $110 million respectively.

Read: Amen corner - God's golfers

Golf's Hall of Famer Phil Mickelson is seventh on the list after making $48.7 million, with soccer trio David Beckham, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi completing the top 10.

Former England captain Beckham recently ended his playing career with a five-month spell at French side Paris Saint-Germain. The $5.2 million salary he was paid during that time was donated to charity.

Beckham took home $47.2 million, profiting from commercial deals with Adidas, H & M and Samsung.

Real Madrid's Ronaldo pipped on-field rival Lionel Messi, earning $44 million compared to the Barcelona star's $41.3 million.

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