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WOODS REMAINS GOLF'S TOP EARNER

By NBF News
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Woods' earnings took a dent after losing his swing and his marriage but he still managed to make $74.2 million, according to Golf Digest magazine's annual list. The American world number two received just $2.29 million from tourney purses, the bulk of his income coming through endorsements and appearance fees.

Woods, who celebrated his 35th birthday last Thursday, was down from a staggering $121.9 million in 2009 after he was engulfed in a scandal. The furore caused firms such as AT&T and Accenture to end sponsorship deals with the 14-time major champion, costing him up to $35 million in annual revenue.

He is, however, still paid over $60 million-per-year 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.

The Golf Digest list is compiled through interviews with agents, players, executives of companies involved with endorsements, industry analysts, plus the official money lists of the leading professional tours. Fellow American, Phil Mickelson, was second on the list, with total earnings of $40.18 million, with Arnold Palmer ($36 million) third.

They are followed by Greg Norman ($30 million), Jack Nicklaus ($25.17 million) and Jim Furyk ($23.58 million). Other players featured in the top 50 included South Africans Ernie Els seventh ($21.5 million) and Gary Player eighth ($15.01 million), Britain's Lee Westwood ninth ($14.73 million) and the Republic of Ireland's Padraig Harrington ($11.61 million).