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Golfers Dominate Latest Forbes Sports Rich List

By: | Fri 19 May 2023

WITH the influx of money as a result of LIV Golf it will come as no surprise to learn that golfers figure prominently in the Forbes Sports List top 20 for 2023, with five LIV players in the top 20 and four times as many golfers in the top 50 as last year.

In total, 12 golfers make the Forbes Sports List top 50, with LIV Golf's massive upfront payments seeing Dustin Johnson (6), Phil Mickelson (7), Cameron Smith (17), Brooks Koepka (18) and Bryson DeChambeau (20) in the top 20, with fellow LIV golfers Patrick Reed (32) and Sergio Garcia (46) also on the list.

Non-LIV golfers to make the list are Rory McIlroy (15), Tiger Woods (16), Jon Rahm (28), Jordan Spieth (43) and Scottie Scheffler (45). When you consider how little golf Woods played in 2022, it is remarkable that he pocketed more than $75m.

Golf comes second to Basketball's NBA (15) in the amount of players from one sport, while Cristiano Ronaldo topped the list, having made an estimated $136m over the past 12 months, during which he moved from Manchester United to Al Nassr in Saudi Arabia.

Within the list there are 11 newcomers, and 16 of the 50 top-earning athletes are under 30-years-old, with five 25 or younger.

Dustin Johnson

(Image Credit: Kevin Diss Photography)

Retired tennis players Serena Williams (49), Roger Federer (9) and retired NFL legend Tom Brady (50) also make the list, meaning they have made a combined 25 appearances over the last 12 years.

Five other footballers, in addition to Ronaldo, make the list in Lionel Messi (2), Kylian Mbappe (3), Neymar (12), Liverpool’s Mo Salah (28) and Manchester City’s Erling Haaland (32).

Just two boxers make the top 50 in Canelo Alvarez (5) and Anthony Joshua (28), while a further 12 athletes from the world of NFL are included. Surprisingly, there is no place for Tyson Fury.

The cut-off mark for a top 50 place in 2023 was total earnings of $45.2m - up 20% per cent from the previous record of $37.6m in 2022.

The total sport breakdown reads: Basketball (15), Golf (12), NFL (12), Football (6), Boxing (2), Tennis (2), Baseball (1).

In all, the 50 athletes made an estimated $3.44bn over the last 12 months before taxes and agents' fees, up 16 per cent from last year's record of $2.97bn.

Of that total, $2.36bn came on the field in the form of salaries, bonuses and prize money, smashing 2022's $1.91bn thanks in part to Middle Eastern money's entry into sports.

The off-field figure of $1.08bn came from athletes' endorsements, appearances, licensing and memorabilia income, and other business endeavours, edging 2022's $1.06bn.

These are truly mind-boggling sums.

Here’s the full list:

1. Cristiano Ronaldo ($136m) Football

2. Lionel Messi ($130m) Football

3. Kylian Mbappe ($120m) Football

4. LeBron James ($119.5m) Basketball

5. Canelo Alvarez ($110m) Boxing

6. Dustin Johnson ($107m) Golf

7. Phil Mickelson ($106m) Golf

8. Stephen Curry ($100.4m) Basketball

9. Roger Federer ($95.1m) Tennis

10. Kevin Durant ($89.1m) Basketball

11. Giannis Antetokounmpo ($87.6m) Basketball

12. Neymar ($85m) Football

12. Russell Wilson ($85m) NFL

14. Russell Westbrook ($82.1m) NFL

15. Rory McIlroy ($80.8m) Golf

16. Tiger Woods ($75.1m) Golf

17. Cameron Smith ($73m) Golf

18. Brooks Koepka ($72m) Golf

19. Kyler Murray ($70.5m) NFL

20. Bryson DeChambeau ($69m) Golf

21. Lewis Hamilton ($65m) F1

22. Max Verstappen ($64m) F1

23. Klay Thompson ($60.9m) NFL

24. Patrick Mahomes ($59.3m) NFL

25. Damian Lillard ($58.6m) Basketball

26. Max Scherzer ($56.7m) Baseball

27. James Harden ($55.1m) Basketball

28. Anthony Joshua ($53m) Boxing

28. Jon Rahm ($53m) Golf

28. Aaron Rodgers ($53m) NFL

28. Mohamed Salah ($53m) Football

32. Erling Haaland ($52m) Football

32. Patrick Reed ($52m) Golf

34. Paul George ($51.5m) Basketball

35. Kawhi Leonard ($50.5m) Basketball

36. Bradley Beal ($49.8m) Basketball

37. Derek Carr ($48.9m) NFL

38. Orlando Brown, Jr. ($48.6m) NFL

39. Aaron Donald ($48.5m) NFL

40. Anthony Davis ($48m) Basketball

41. Jimmy Butler ($47.8m) Basketball

41. John Wall ($47.8m) Basketball

43. Jordan Spieth ($47.5m) Golf

44. Luka Doncic ($47.2m) Basketball

45. Scottie Scheffler ($47.1m) Golf

46. Sergio Garcia ($46m) Golf

46. Dak Prescott ($46m) NFL

48. Deshaun Watson ($45.8m) NFL

49. Serena Williams ($45.3m) Tennis

50. Tom Brady ($45.2m) NFL

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Tags: PGA Tour LIV Golf FedEx Cup european tour dp world tour

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