Forbes name Rory McIlroy as 12th highest paid sportsman on earth
Boxers Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao take the top spots
World number one golfer Rory McIlroy has been named as the 12th highest paid sportsman on earth by Forbes.
The 26-year-old Holywood man who has won two majors in the last 12 months, banked 48.3m dollars (£31.07m), including 32m (£20.59m) in sponsorship, to be 12th on the list just ahead of Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton - 15th with 39m dollars (£25.09m).
McIlroy missed out on the cut at the Irish Open 2015 which was hosted by his charitable foundation. However before that he had vowed that if he won the tournament he would have donated the winnings to the charity.
Boxer Floyd Mayweather was named the world's highest-paid sportsman in the second year running after banking 300m US dollars (£193m)
According to figures released by Forbes, endorsements accounted for just 15m dollars (£9.65m) of his income, with the majority of the American's earnings coming from last month's super-fight against Manny Pacquiao.
The bout in Las Vegas was most of the most highly anticipated fights in around 20 years - and accounted for most of the 460m dollars (£295.94m) increase in earnings of the world's top 100 athletes in 2015 - with Pacquiao's takings of 160m dollars (£102.93m) comfortably making him the second-highest earner.
Former world number one golfer Tiger Woods, Mayweather and now Pacquiao are the only athletes to earn nine-figure incomes in a single year.
In third place was Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo, who may have lost out to Barcelona rival Lionel Messi on the field but his earnings of 79.6m dollars (£51.21m) were nearly six million more than the Argentinian's.
Woods retained his place in the top-10 despite a dreadful year of injuries and loss of form thanks to his 50m dollar (£32.17m) endorsements, compared to winnings of just 600,000 (£386,000).
Elsewhere fellow American Phil Mickelson was the top-performing golfer in eighth.
The highest-earning British footballer was Gareth Bale, whose 25.5m dollar (£14.48m) salary at Real Madrid, put him 18th on the list with 35m (£22.52m).
England captain Wayne Rooney was 34th with 26.9m dollars (€23.8m), with former international team-mate Frank Lampard 87th on 19.7m (£12.67m).
World number two tennis player Roger Federer was in fifth place with earnings of 67m dollars (£43.10m). That was made up of 9m dollars (£5.79m) from winnings and 58m dollars ((£37.31m) from endorsements.
Meanwhile Andy Murray earnings, who is currently third in the world, saw him take 64th place with 22.3m dollars (£14.35m).
Forbes' earnings figures include salaries, bonuses, prize money and appearance fees, as well as estimates on licensing and endorsement income for the past 12 months.
The list only includes athletes active during the last 12 months.
Source Irish Independent