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Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson near top of highest-paid-athletes list

By Kyle Porter | Golf Writer

Can Tiger get to 20 majors? (Getty Images)
Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson are not struggling in the financial department. (Getty Images)

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Sports Illustrated released its list of highest-earning American athletes (always an interesting read), and two golfers whom you might have heard of are near the top: Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.

Floyd Mayweather came in at No. 1, having made $90 million in salary and endorsements. Woods finished No. 5, behind Mayweather, LeBron James, Drew Brees, and Kobe Bryant. Mickelson finished No. 6.

Combined, the two golfers made more than $80 million in 2012. Woods made slightly more than $40 million ($33 million in endoresements), and Mickelson made just les than $40 million ($36 million in endorsements).

Here's what Sports Illustrated had to say about Woods:

"In the past two years various lists have put Tiger's portfolio in the $50 million range; don't believe them. Marketing experts say that even $33 million is generous, but no one really knows how much his deal with Nike is worth. (The best estimates put it at $20 million per year.) And now that Nike is using him in TV ads again (with the ascendant Rory McIlroy), you can bet the Swoosh sees fresh value in its biggest golf star. Phil Mickelson makes more in endorsements, but the 37-year-old Woods made double on the links."

It also says that Mickelson probably makes around $7 million for his endorsement with Enbrel -- an endorsement that I broke down here.

We think of golf as being a one-horse race with Woods way out in front -- and, on the course lately, that has been the case. But Mickelson has proved over the course of his career that there is room for other men in golf to become extremely wealthy.

Good thing, too, with all those taxes that Mickelson has to pay.

For more golf news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnGolf and @KylePorterCBS on Twitter or Google+ and like us on Facebook.

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