|Billionaire Tiger Woods top of the golfing pile in career earnings
World number one Tiger Woods has cracked US$1.3 billion in career earnings by leading the Golf Digest 50 with US$83 million in income last year, the magazine reported on its website Tuesday.
The champion golfer’s father is an African-American and a US Marine, while his mother is Thai.
Woods, a 14-time majors champion, topped the list for the 11th time in its 11-year history with US$83,09 million, including an estimated US$71 million off the course and more than US$12 million in prize money, AFP reports.
The story says his winnings of more than US$155 million reflect less than 12 percent of his career earnings, with US$1.16 billion coming from endorsements since his pro debut in 1996, a figure that continues to increase even in the wake of an infamous sex scandal and ensuing divorce.
A Woods deal with Electronic Arts involving a golf video game ended at the conclusion of 2013 and, while he has not approached pre-scandal endrosement totals above US$100 million a year, he has bounced back from a 2011 low of US$62 million in endorsement income.
Second on the Golf Digest list for 2013 income was Phil Mickelson at US$52 million with an estimated US$45 million in endorsements and other non-prize money income.
The US left-hander won last year's British Open and hopes to complete a career Grand Slam by winning this year's US Open, an event where he is a record six-time runner-up.
Arnold Palmer, the 84-year-old golf icon whose popularity helped spawn the television riches of today's players, was third at US$40 million, largely from licensing deals in Asia.
Jack Nicklaus, who turns 74 on January 21, ranked fourth at just over US$26 million. The record 18-time major champion joins Palmer and Gary Player for the annual honorary tee shots that mark the start of the Masters each year.
Sweden's Henrik Stenson, who won the US PGA Tour playoff crown and the European Tour's Race to Dubai, was fifth at US$21.44 million, with all but an estimated US$2.85 million in off-course income from his prize money.
Despite a year with only one title, Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy was sixth on US$20.6 million with US$18 million in endorsement deals including a new one with Nike for equipment that helped sting a season of struggles in which his only win came at the Australian Open.
South African legend Player, 78, was seventh at just over US$16 million, followed by Australian Adam Scott, who won his first major title last year at the Masters, in eighth on US$15.6 million with US$7.6 million in estimated endorsement income.
South Africa's Ernie Els and retired Australian star Greg Norman completed the top 10.
Japan's Ryo Ishikawa was the top Asian player on the list at 26th with US$7.9 million including US$6.5 million off the course, while Paula Creamer was the only woman on the list at 48th with US$5.2 million including US$4.5 million off the course.