*Tiger Woods has once again ended a calendar year as golf’s top moneymaker, despite suffering a pay cut of $48 million after losing his swing and his marriage and failing to win a single tournament.
The American world number two, who celebrated his 35th birthday on Thursday, topped Golf Digest magazine’s annual list for 2010 with overall earnings of $74.2 million, reports the Associated Press. Of that, only $2.29 million came from tournament purses with the rest accumulated off-course through endorsements and appearance fees.
Fellow American Phil Mickelson was second with total earnings of $40.18 million, followed by Arnold Palmer ($36 million), Greg Norman fourth ($30 million) and Jack Nicklaus fifth ($25.17 million).
Overall earnings were compiled by Golf Digest through interviews with agents, players, executives of companies involved with endorsements, industry analysts and also via the official money lists of the leading professional tours.
In 2009, Woods dominated the standings with $121.9 million but his earnings have dipped following his unexpected fall from grace after being engulfed by a sex scandal.
His troubles led such firms as AT&T and Accenture to end sponsorship deals, costing Woods up to $35 million in annual revenue.
He ended his PGA Tour season without a single title for the first time since he turned professional in 1996 and was deposed as world number one by Britain’s Lee Westwood on November 1.
However, since Woods joined forces with Canadian swing coach Sean Foley after the PGA Championship in August, his form has steadily improved and he remains the biggest drawcard in the game.
He is still paid more than $60 million annually by Nike, Electronic Arts, Procter & Gamble’s Gillette, Berkshire Hathaway’s NetJets unit, LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton’s Tag Heuer, Upper Deck and TLC Laser Vision Centers.