I WAS GLANCING AT SI’s Fortunate 50 List, the 50 highest-earning American athletes. As you surely know, Tiger Woods still holds down the top spot despite his troubles off the course. Tiger rakes in a little over $90 million in on- and off-course income. The runner-up, or No. 2 man, is Phil Mickelson at nearly $62 million.
Poor Phil. No. 2 in the world golf rankings. No. 2 in earnings. Always second best, it seems. The misfortune of playing in the Tiger Woods era. I remember once reading a quote from Nick Faldo that went something like, “Thank God my prime ended about the time Tiger came along.”
(Photo: Phil and Bones / Julie Campbell, Flickr)
For all the grief Phil has gotten for not winning more—some of it earned—his career has been very good and would have been head and shoulders above most everyone in some past eras. For example, when players like Fred Couples, Greg Norman and Nick Price were considered to be the cream of golf. (I have to put Faldo ahead of Phil based on majors, although Lefty still has time to win a couple of more.)
Phil is no Tiger. From things I’ve heard him say over the years, I think he has made peace with that. It’s the Tiger era, but if Phil would have come along a little earlier golf would have been his oyster.
Here’s how Phil’s $61,660,757 breaks down: $9,660,757 from salary/winnings and $52,000,000 from endorsements. Callaway Golf, KPMG, Barclays, Grayhawk Golf Club and Rolex are his major sponsors.
−The Armchair Golfer