Tiger tops list of highest-earning U.S. athletes

Tiger Woods hits his tee shot on the second hole during the first round of THE PLAYERS Championship held at THE PLAYERS Stadium course at TPC Sawgrass on May 12, 2011 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Getty Images/Streeter Lecka

Tiger Woods hits his tee shot
Tiger Woods hits his tee shot on the second hole during the first round of THE PLAYERS Championship held at THE PLAYERS Stadium course at TPC Sawgrass on May 12, 2011 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.
Getty Images/Streeter Lecka

It's been a rough year for Tiger Woods .

His wife (and most of his sponsors) left him. He injured his knee and Achilles and had to skip the U.S. Open. And he fell out of the top 10 in world rankings for the first time in 14 years.

But the golfer still rules when it comes to the almighty dollar.

For the eighth year in a row, Woods tops Sports Illustrated's "Fortunate 50" list, which ranks the top-earning American athletes.

The magazine uses salary, winnings, endorsements and appearance fees to rank the athletes and Woods came out on top with total earnings of $62,294,116 - about $1 million more than the No. 2 athlete on the list, Phil Mickelson.

LeBron James, Peyton Manning, Alex Rodriguez and Kobe Bryant round out the top six. Meanwhile there were four athletes cracking the top 10 for the first time: Kevin Garnett (No. 7), Matt Ryan (8), Tom Brady (9) and Dwight Howard (10).

Woods and Mickelson are among three golfers who made the top 50 (Jim Furyk is No. 15). Nineteen NBA players, 17 baseball players, eight NFL players and three NASCAR drivers also made the list.

See the full "Fortunate 50" list

According to the magazine, the average earnings of the athletes on the 2011 list is $24.3 million, down 7 percent from 2010. Meanwhile, Tiger's grasp on the top spot is slipping fast.

"His quickly shrinking earnings have never been lower on our list, nor has he ever been this close to surrendering his once insurmountable lead," the magazine says.

While Tiger saw almost one third of his earnings disappear from the year before, he still can't be counted out when it comes to power lists. Just last month, Forbes named him the No. 1 celebrity in U.S. sports.

  • Stephen Smith

    Stephen Smith is a senior editor for CBSNews.com

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