Jon Rahm is the second highest paid athlete

Five golfers feature on the latest Forbes ranking of the 50 highest-paid athletes in the world

by Andrea Gussoni
Jon Rahm is the second highest paid athlete
© Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images Sport

Five golfers feature on the latest Forbes ranking of the 50 highest-paid athletes in the world. Among them, Jon Rahm, who transitioned to the LIV Golf in December 2023 for around $500 million, comes in second place, behind football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.

Jon Rahm, results

In just one year, he has become the second-highest-paid athlete in the world. The massive contract signed by Spanish golfer Jon Rahm with LIV Golf last December allows him to estimate his earnings for the year 2024 alone at around $218 million.

A colossal sum, but still insufficient to catch up with the top-ranked player, Cristiano Ronaldo, also buoyed by Saudi petrodollars ($260 million). Breaking it down, Rahm's total earnings would thus amount to $218 million, with $198 million directly related to golf play, supplemented by $20 million in endorsements and sponsorships.

Five golfers in the top 50 Rory McIlroy, on the other hand, sits a bit further down the list, in 19th place. While the Northern Irishman has yet to secure another Major title at the PGA Championship on May 19, his bank account is thriving.

Particularly becoming a major investor in the F1 Alpine team in 2023, McIlroy estimates his earnings at $80.1 million, with over half coming from off-course activities. Despite limited participation in competitions due to injuries, money has also continued to flow for Tiger Woods, who occupies the 23rd spot on this list with total earnings of $67.2 million between May 2023 and May 2024, with $55 million coming solely from off the fairways.

Six places below is the current world number one, Scottie Scheffler, with $59.2 million during the period, of which $39.2 million comes solely from his on-course exploits. Finally, Australian Cameron Smith, who also joined LIV Golf (just after his victory at The Open at St Andrews in 2022), appears in 43rd place on the list with total earnings of $48 million. In 2023, Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson were in the top 10 of the list but have both dropped out of the top 50.

Jon Rahm