Tiger Woods returns to the top of Forbes sports money list

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods has returned to the top of Forbes magazine's annual listexternal-link of the 100 highest-paid sports personalities.

World number one ranked golfer Woods, 37, was third in the previous list, ending a 12-year stint at the summit.

But the American made $78.1m (£50.7m) in the 12 months to 1 June 2013 after agreeing several new sponsorship deals and doubling his prize money.

Tennis player Roger Federer rose to second on $71.5m (£46.4m) while David Beckham, now retired, stayed eighth.

The study showed that Beckham, while famed as a global brand, was only the joint-fourth highest earner from endorsement deals.

The 38-year-old, who announced his retirement from playing last month after winning the Ligue 1 title with Paris St-Germain, increased his overall earnings to $47.2m (£30.6m).

But the $42m (£27.3m) he made from sponsorship contracts left him behind Woods, Federer and golfer Phil Mickelson, and alongside basketball player LeBron James.

Beckham remained the highest-paid footballer, ahead of Real Madrid winger Cristiano Ronaldo ($44m/£28.6m) and Barcelona attacker Lionel Messi ($41.3m/£26.8m), who completed the overall top 10.

Northern Irish golfer Rory Mcllroy's $29.6m (£19.2m) put him in 21st, while Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton followed in 26th on $27.5m (£17.6m).

Manchester United and England striker Wayne Rooney fell 24 positions to 61st on earnings of $21.1m (£13.7m), with England and Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard 93rd after taking in $17.2m (£11.2m).

Bolt beats Blake to win 100m gold

Boxer Floyd Mayweather topped the money list last year, but dropped to 14th with earnings of $34m (£22.1m) from his fight with Robert Guerrero in May after taking $85m (£54.3m) when he fought twice during Forbes's last 12-month measurement period.

Despite the Forbes list coinciding with London 2012, Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt was the only track athlete to feature. The six-time Olympic champion, world record holder at both 100m and 200m, shot up the rankings from 63rd to 40th after taking in $24.2m (£15.8m).

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso came in as Formula 1's top earner again, staying 19th with overall earnings rising slightly to $30m (£19.5m).

This year, the number of women ranked in the top 100 rose to three as Serena Williams joined fellow tennis players Maria Sharapova and Li Na.

French Open champion Sharapova rose from 26th to 22nd in the overall rankings, as her earnings increased by more than $1m to $29m (£18.8m).