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Tiger Woods Stays Atop Earnings List Even After Income Slumps

June 17 (Bloomberg) -- Tiger Woods is the highest-paid U.S. athlete for the eighth straight year, although his income slumped by 31 percent to $62 million, according to Sports Illustrated’s 2011 Fortunate 50.

Golf rival Phil Mickelson was second with $61 million and the Miami Heat’s LeBron James moved up one place to third with an income of $44.5 million, Sports Illustrated reported.

There are 19 players from the National Basketball Association, 16 from Major League Baseball and nine from the National Football League on the list, along with three golfers and three Nascar drivers. They averaged $24.2 million in earnings, including salary and endorsement fees.

Woods, whose total earnings have declined about 50 percent from $127.9 million in 2008, had $2.3 million in 2010 winnings and $60 million in 2011 endorsements, the magazine said.

Woods hasn’t won a tournament since November 2009 and isn’t playing in the U.S. Open this week because of a knee injury. He has fallen to No. 15 in the Official World Golf Ranking after holding the No. 1 spot for a record 281 weeks.

Rounding out the top 10 are Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning at $38.1 million; New York Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez, $36 million; Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant, $34.8 million; Boston Celtics’ Kevin Garnett, $32.8 million; Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, $32.7 million; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, $30 million, and the Orlando Magic’s Dwight Howard, $28.8 million.

New Faces

There are 19 new entrants. In addition to Ryan, St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford ($27.3 million), New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis ($25.8 million), golfer Jim Furyk ($25.3 million) and Joe Mauer of the Minnesota Twins ($23.8 million) made their debuts in the top 20.

World No. 3 tennis player Roger Federer, with $52.8 million, is the highest-earning international athlete, followed by Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao at $52.5 million, the magazine said.

The rankings are based on salary, winnings, bonuses, endorsements and appearance fees. Baseball salaries come from the current season while National Hockey League and NBA pay was taken from recently completed seasons. Football players’ salaries are based on next season.

For sports such as auto racing, golf and tennis, earnings were collected from 2010, while boxing earnings cover the year ending June 30.

Endorsement estimates came from Burns Entertainment & Sports Marketing, sports marketing executives and analysts and agents.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nancy Kercheval in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at

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