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Tiger Woods tops Forbes' highest-paid athletes list

GolfDigest.com

By Alex Myers

Earlier this year, Tiger Woods reclaimed the No. 1 spot in the Official World Golf Ranking. Now he's back on top as the sports world's highest earner as well.

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Forbes magazine has released its annual list of the world's 100 highest-paid athletes and Woods is first. The publication reports the 14-time major champ made $78.1 million in the past year (From June 1, 2012 to June 1, 2013) from prize money, endorsements, appearance fees and golf course design fees.

Related: Who are the top 50 earners in golf?

Woods was a mainstay in this position from 2001-2012 until the fallout from his November 2009 scandal finally caught up with him in terms of lost sponsorships from the likes of Gatorade, Buick and Gillette. Boxer Floyd Mayweather knocked him from the top spot last year, but only checks in at No. 14 this year.

Woods has ranked No. 1 in Golf Digest's list of the top 50 earners in golf every year since its inception in 2004. In March, Golf Digest reported Woods earned $86.1 million in 2012. Figures for the list were compiled through interviews with agents, players, executives of companies involved with endorsements, industry analysts and through the official money lists of the professional tours. Golf Digest reported Woods earned nearly $122 million in 2009.

Related: Tiger Woods' long road back to No. 1

Forbes' list only included active athletes. If it didn't, basketball legend/golf nut Michael Jordan would be No. 1 with his $80 million in income. 

Other golfers in the top 100 are Phil Mickelson (No. 7 at $48.7 million), Rory McIlroy (No. 21 at $29.6 million), Ernie Els (No. 78 at $19.5 million), Brandt Snedeker (No. 81 at $19 million), who cracked the list for the first time on the strength of a $10-million bonus for winning the FedEx Cup.

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