A scandal, a slump and a swing change behind him, Tiger Woods has soared back to the spot he occupied for eleven years: he’s the highest paid athlete in the world once more.Confirmation comes in the June 24 issue of Forbes, which estimates that Woods took in $78.1 million over the past year, $13.1 million of that in prize money. The rest came from endorsements, appearance fees and design work. According to Forbes, Tiger was the world’s most richly compensated athlete from 2001 to 2012, when Floyd Mayweather toppled him from that perch.The biggest contributor to Woods’ vast wealth remains Nike, which pays Tiger more than $20 million a year, according to Forbes. But Woods also pulls in hefty sums from such corporate partners as Rolex, Upper Deck, TLC Eye Centers and NetJets, to say nothing of Electronic Arts, which produces the hugely popular Tiger Woods PGA Tour video game.Not surprisingly, the uptick in Tiger’s financial fortunes coincides with his resurgent play, which has catapulted him back into the top spot in the Official World Golf Rankings.Rory McIlroy, Tiger’s most recent on-course heir apparent, who held the top spot for 32 weeks, has slipped to No. 2.In the financial world, meanwhile, Roger Federer ($71.5 million) places second to Tiger in Forbes’ rankings, followed by Kobe Bryant ($61.9 million), LeBron James ($59.8) and Drew Brees ($51 million). Whether the bump in income has made Woods any happier is not included in Forbes’ calculations. But as you may have heard, he says it hasn’t been all downhill for him in that department.Ah, love. The one thing money can’t buy.
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