Woods, Palmer, Nicklaus in top four of new Forbes athlete list

Five golfers in top 20 of Forbes' highest-paid athletes list. 

Andy Roberts's picture
Wed, 14 Dec 2016

tiger woods second to michael jordan in forbes list

Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus and the late Arnold Palmer occupy the top four spots in Forbes' top 20 highest-paid athletes of all time.

The list of 20 athletes - comprised of five golfers (the most of any sport) - takes into account salaries, bonuses, earnings, endorsements and licensing as of May 2016.

Basketball legend Michael Jordan holds top spot with $1.7 billion, narrowly ahead of Woods ($1.65 billion), with Palmer third ($1.35 billion) and Nicklaus ($1.15 billion) fourth. 

Phil Mickelson lies eighth ($760 million), four places ahead of Greg Norman ($680 million), who admits he's going to "shatter" the golf world in 2017 with his new ideas.

The legendary Palmer died in September aged 87, and only $3.6 million of his $1.35 billion total came from prize money on the golf course.

According to Forbes, Palmer earned more than $40 million annually leading up his death. His AriZona Beverage Co. generated $200 million in revenue last year.