Phil Mickelson Remains Top Golfer on Forbes’ Highest-Paid List
Phil Mickelson might not be at the top of his game, but he’s still at the top of his business.
According to Forbes, Mickelson earned $52.9 million since last June, slightly more than he made the year before, good enough for eighth place in their annual ranking of the world’s highest paid athletes.
Mickelson, who will turn 46 next week, is the oldest athlete on the list but still raked in more than each of the four other golfers who cracked the Top 100.
Jordan Spieth, the youngest on the list, finished just behind Mickelson at ninth, followed by fellow golfers Tiger Woods (12th), Rory McIlroy (17th) and Jason Day (T-69th).
Forbes combines salaries, bonuses and endorsements earned between June 1, 2015, and June 1, 2016, to compile its ranking, so even though Mickelson earned only $2.9 million on the course over that period, he pulled in a whopping $50 million in endorsements from sponsors like Callaway, Amgen, Barclays, ExonMobil, KPMG and Rolex.
The five-time major winner was recently was named as a “relief defendant” in an insider trading case centered around infamous sports gambler Billy Walters that saw the golfer pay back over $1 million in unfairly earned profits, but according to Forbes, “the slip-up is unlikely to hurt Mickelson with his sponsors, who love the his ability to connect with fans and customers.”
Spieth, 22, was the biggest mover on the list. After placing 85th last year, he jumped all the way into the top 10 ($52.8 million) thanks to $20.8 million in on-course earnings, anchored by his $10 million FedEx Cup bonus. He also picked up $32 million in endorsements.
Despite a lost year on the course in which he earned only $274,000, Woods still collected $45 million in endorsements. According to Forbes, Nike pays the 40-year-old 14-time major winner, who recently announced he’ll miss next week’s U.S. Open as he recovers from multiple back surgeries, more than $20M a year.
McIlroy, 27, earned $42.6 million, while World No. 1 Day, 28, who made his first appearance on the ranking, took home $23.6 million.
Soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo led the list of the highest-paid athletes with $88 million, edging Lionel Messi ($81.4 million) for the top spot. Woods has been the highest earner on the ranking for six of the past 10 years.