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‘Because of LIV?’: Tiger Woods and Rest of Golf Community’s Dominance on Latest Top 50 Athletes’ List Leaves Fans Puzzled

Published 03/07/2023, 1:11 PM EST

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The highest-paid athletes in the world have been revealed. While some of the biggest superstars stake a claim at the top of the rankings, a similar trend has caught the eye of netizens. Golf has seen its share of global personalities. The game appeared a number of times on the list, with as many as four names inside the top 10 rankings.

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NBA legend Michael Jordan, who dwarfed everyone else on the list, comfortably spearheaded it. His incredible career, in which he became one of the sport’s most celebrated stars, fetched him an eye-watering $3.3 billion.


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Yet, the scene after Jordan spoke volumes about golf’s dominance. Easily among golf’s most recognizable faces, Tiger Woods was next on the list. The 15-time major championship winner has popularized golf across continents and increased revenue streams in the sport.


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Woods also made quite the deal with Nike, which is similar to Jordan’s contract with the same company. The latter was the biggest beneficiary, though, earning up to $1.8 billion with his Nike sponsorship alone.

But what followed on the list spoke volumes about golf’s extraordinary achievements. While Woods was a product of the television era, the late Arnold Palmer, who played back in the 60s, was next up on the list.

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Back in his days, Palmer was heralded as golf’s first authentic hero and ambassador. The legendary golfer won seven major championships and is widely considered to have popularized golf before live telecasts began.

While his earnings added up to $885 million, they adjusted his income to $1.7 billion considering inflation. Similarly, 18-time major championship winner Jack Nicklaus made it next on the list. Despite earning $870 million in his days, the golf great’s adjusted income came to $1.63 billion.

But wait, there are more!

The last golf entity to feature in the top 10 is LIV golfer Phil Mickelson. The 6-time major championship winner has been one of golf’s most consistent players, but his legacy has often been under shadowed by Woods.

However, Mickelson’s income received an enormous boost after a reported $200 million contract to switch to the LIV Golf Series. While it paid off handsomely, the 52-year-old has tarnished part of his heritage within golf’s traditionalists.

Additionally, there were more players, past and present, within the top 50 rankings. Former Australian golfer Greg Norman, who spearheads the LIV Golf Series, is 15th on the list. The South African duo of Ernie Els and Gary Player, two of the country’s most successful golfers, are ranked 31st and 35th on the list. Last but not the least, Rory McIlroy makes it to the 43rd position with an adjusted income of $545 million.

Fans were quick to note the number of golfers on the list, sparking debates on the sport’s acclaim across the world. Here’s a selection of those tweets.


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Sharan Nair

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Sharan is an Engineering student with a desire to carve out a career in sports journalism. He is an ardent Tiger Woods fan and his 2019 Masters victory is what further cemented his love for the golfer. A die hard football fan, Sharan can be seen cheering for Real Madrid, and playing FIFA every chance he gets.

Edited By: Akash Pandhare