Winning 14 major championships and dominating a sport for over a decade pays big.
Tiger Woods returned to the top of the Forbes list of highest paid active athletes after being ousted by Floyd Mayweather in 2012. He held the top spot for more than 10 years, starting in 2001, until his November 2009 infidelity scandal caught up with him and he lost Gatorade, Buick and Gillette as sponsors. Boxer Floyd Mayweather was number one last year, but slipped to 14 on the most current list.
Forbes estimated Woods made around $78 million in 2012 from prize money, endorsement deals, appearance fees and golf course design fees. Not bad for a guy who hasn't won a major championship in years.
Woods has always been the definition of marketable and that looks to be continuing far into the future as Woods is on the verge of inking a new deal with Nike that will surely pay him top-dollar. Though rumors ran through the golf media that Woods may leave Nike and go with a new equipment and apparel dealer, he is smart to stick with Nike, a company that backed him during the lowest stretch of his career that started in 2009.
He has climbed back up to the top of the endorsement and money-making mountain. Now, we are all waiting to see when he can reach the peak of a major championship. We'll get another look at that journey next at the US Open.