Home » Golfers make up 10 of world’s top 100 best-paid athletes — Rahm, No 2 behind Cristiano – News – Irish Golf Desk

Golfers make up 10 of world’s top 100 best-paid athletes — Rahm, No 2 behind Cristiano – News – Irish Golf Desk

Golfers make up 10 of the world’s top 100 best-paid athletes, with Masters champion Jon Rahm now the second biggest earner behind Cristiano Ronaldo.

Following his mega move to LIV Golf, Rahm edged out Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods as the game’s cash king in 2023 with an estimated haul of $203 million.

According to sports business news specialists Sportico, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund — the money behind LIV Golf — has had an enormous effect on golf.

While Sportico’s list does not calculate investment income — a big winner for the likes of McIlroy and Woods — golfers are now the fifth biggest group in the top 100 with 10 players behind the basketball stars (40), the NFL players (16), the baseball stars (13) and soccer players (11).

That said, the NFL remains the big money generator in sport with franchises worth $5.1 billion.

The NFL or college football produced 93 of the top 100 most-watched broadcasts in 2023, with the top golf event, the final round of the 2023 Masters, ranked a lowly 131st, putting into focus the challenge the PGA Tour, LIV Golf and investors like the Strategic Sports Group will have in getting a return on their investments.

The other seven most watched events were three college football games, President Joe Biden’s State of the Union speech, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the Oscars, and an episode of a cooking programme called Next Level Chef.

Rahm’s win in the Masters, followed by his December move to LIV Golf, sees him ranked No. 2 with $203 million banked in 2023.

That leaves him wedged between Ronaldo, whose move to Saudi Arabia sees him top the list with $275m and overshadow his long-time rival Lionel Messi, who is third with $130m.

According to Sportico, Rahm’s $203 million appears to have been made up of an estimated $150 million from LIV Golf, a PIP bonus of $9 million and endorsement income of $22 million, with the rest coming from tournament earnings.

While his LIV Golf signing bonus has been reported to be between $300 million and $600 million, “multiple people familiar with LIV contracts pegged the deal at the lower number and estimated half was paid up front.”

It’s clearly a boom time for golf, highlighted by the PGA Tour’s 33pc increase in total purses, the recently announced $1.5 billion equity deal with the Fenway-led Strategic Sports Group and the era of $20m-plus Signature Events.

Over the last two years, LIV Golf has paid out over $100 million each to Brooks Koepka, Cameron Smith and Dustin Johnson, not including prize money.

That’s also considerable, with Talor Gooch (61st on the top 100 list) now the ninth-highest-earning golfer with $40.2 million following his win at the LIV Golf Individual Championship last season.
Despite a massive increase in investment in women’s sports, there are no women in the top 100.

Tennis star Coco Gauff was the highest-paid female athlete in 2023 with $22.7 million, but that still left her $10 million short of the $32.5 million cutoff to make the top 100.

Top 10 highest-paid golfers in 2023

Rank (overall ranking), Winnings+endorsements, Total

1. (2) Jon Rahm ($181m+$22m) $203

2. (13) Rory McIlroy ($37.4+$40m) $77.4m

3. (14) Tiger Woods ($12.2m+$65m) $77.2m

4. (T27) Viktor Hovland ($39.3m+ $13m) $52.3m

5. (T27) Scottie Scheffler ($33.3m+$19m) $52.3m

6. (39) Brooks Koepka ($38.7m+$8m) $44.7m

7. (51) Cameron Smith ($36.3m+$7m) $43.3m

8. (53) Jordan Spieth ($15,9m+$27m) $42.9m

9. (61) Talor Gooch ($38.2m+$2m) $40.2m

10. (86) Dustin Johnson ($29.7m+$6m) $33.7m

Sportico’s 100 Highest-Paid Athletes in the World 2023

1. Cristiano Ronaldo (Al-Nassr). $275M

2. Jon Rahm (Golf) $203M

3. Lionel Messi (Inter Miami) $130M

4. LeBron James (Los Angeles Lakers). $125.7M

5. Kylian Mbappé (PSG) $125M

6. Neymar (Al-Hilal). $121M

7. Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors). $98.9M

8. Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks). $88.4M

9. Kevin Durant (Phoenix Suns). $86.9M

10. Patrick Mahomes (Kansas City Chiefs). $84.3M

11. Lamar Jackson (Baltimore Ravens). $82.5M

12. Karim Benzema (Al-Ittihad). $78M

13 Rory McIlroy (Golf). $77.4M

14. Tiger Woods (Golf). $77.2M

15. Max Verstappen (Red Bull Racing). $75M

16. Shohei Ohtani (Los Angeles Dodgers). $70M

17. Canelo Álvarez (Boxing). $66M

18. Erling Haaland (Manchester City). $63M

19. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) .$62M

20. Max Scherzer (Texas Rangers). $60.8M

21. Damian Lillard (Milwaukee Bucks). $60.3M

22. Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors) $60.1

23. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool). $56M

24. Anthony Joshua (Boxing). $55M

25. Russell Westbrook (Los Angeles Clippers). $54M

26. Nick Bosa (San Francisco 49ers). $53.6M

27. Viktor Hovland (Golf). $52.3M

28. Scottie Scheffler (Golf). $52.3M

29. James Harden (Los Angeles Clippers). $51.6M

30. Joe Burrow (Cincinnati Bengals). $51.5M

31. Paul George (Los Angeles Clippers). $51.1M

32. Bradley Beal (Phoenix Suns). $50.5M

33. Kawhi Leonard (Los Angeles Clippers). $50.1M

34. Luka Donic (Dallas Mavericks). $49.7M

35. Jimmy Butler (Miami Heat). $47.9M

36. Daniel Jones (New York Giants). $47.5M

37. Jake Paul (Boxing). $47M

38. Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers). $46.8M

39. Brooks Koepka (Golf). $46.7M

40. Deshaun Watson (Cleveland Browns). $46.5M

41. Devin Booker (Phoenix Suns). $46.3M

42. Aaron Rodgers (New York Jets). $45.9M

43. Nikola Jokic (Denver Nuggets). $45.7M

44. Anthony Davis (Los Angeles Lakers). $45.5M

45. Dak Prescott (Dallas Cowboys). $45M

46. Novak Djokovic (Tennis). $44.9M

47. Trae Young (Atlanta Hawks). $44.7M

48. Justin Verlander (Houston Astros). $44.5M

49. Aaron Judge (New York Yankees). $44M

50. Zach LaVine (Chicago Bulls). $43.7M

51. Cameron Smith (Golf). $43.3M

52. Kyrie Irving (Dallas Mavericks). $43.2M

53 Jordan Spieth (Golf). $42.9M

54. Gervonta Davis (Boxing). $42.5M

55. Kyler Murray (Arizona Cardinals). $42.5M

56. Carlos Alcaraz (Tennis). $42.2M

57. Jamal Murray (Denver Nuggets). $41M

58. Ryan Garcia (Boxing). $40.5M

59. Mike Trout. (Los Angeles Angels). $40.5M

60. Donovan Mitchell (Cleveland Cavaliers). $40.4M

61. Rudy Gobert (Minnesota Timberwolves). $40.2M

62. Talor Gooch (Golf). $40.2M

63. Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics). $40.1M

64. Tyson Fury (Boxing). $40M

65. Rashan Gary (Green Bay Packers). $39.9M

66. Tobias Harris (Philadelphia 76ers). $39.3M

67. Chris Paul (Golden State Warriors). $38.5M

68. Ben Simmons (Brooklyn Nets). $38.4M

69. Anthony Rendon (Los Angeles Angels).$38.3M

70. Pascal Siakam (Indiana Pacers). $38M

71. Russell Wilson (Denver Broncos). $38M

73. CJ McCollum (New Orleans Pelicans). $38M

74. Jrue Holiday (Boston Celtics). $37.8M

75. Zion Williamson (New Orleans Pelicans). $37.6M

76. Gerrit Cole (New York Yankees). $37.5M

77. Corey Seager (Texas Rangers). $37.5M

78. Karl-Anthony Towns (Minnesota Timberwolves). $37.2M

79. Carlos Correa (Minnesota Twins). $37M

80. Josh Allen (Buffalo Bills). $37M

81. Kristaps Porziis (Celtics). $36.7M

82. Brandon Ingram (New Orleans Pelicans). $36.1M

83. Riyad Mahrez (Al-Ahli). $36M

84. Robert Lewandowski (FC Barcelona). $36M

85. Chris Lindstrom (Atlanta Falcons). $35.8M

86. Dustin Johnson (golf). $35.7M

87. Khris Middleton (Milwaukee Bucks). $35.3M

88. Kevin De Bruyne (M. City). $35M

89. Michael Porter Jr. (Denver Nuggets). $33.9M

90. Orlando Brown Jr. (Cincinatti Bengals). $33.8M

91. Gordon Hayward (Charlotte Hornets). $33.7M

92. Stephen Strasburg (Washington Nationals). $33.6M

93. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Oklahoma City Thunder). $33.5M

94. Bryce Harper (Philadelphia Phillies). $33.2M

95. Kirk Cousins (Minnesota Vikings). $33M

96. De’Aaron Fox (Sacramento Kings). $32.9M

97. Miguel Cabrera (Detroit Tigers). $32.8M

98. Bam Adebayo (Miami Heat). $32.7M

99. Giancarlo Stanton (New York Yankees). $32.6M

100. Derek Carr (New Orleans Saints): $32.5M