Rory McIlroy makes top-10 on Forbes’ highest paid athletes ranking

Rory McIlroy has quickly moved up the ranks in Forbes’ highest paid athletes ranking, reaching the sixth spot with ease. For a list usually reserved for NFL QB’s and soccer stars, it’s refreshing to see a golfer in the mix.

Granted, Tiger Woods has made the No. 1 spot before, but that was back in his prime when nobody could touch him. Phil Mickelson and Jordan Spieth also made the list last year, coming in at No. 8 and 9 respectively. This year, only one golfer made the list and that was McIlroy.

McIlroy topped Steph Curry, which is surprising considering the couple of years he’s had. But then again, Rory just signed two major deals with Nike and TaylorMade, which for sure helped him top the leaderboard. Not just from wins, but sponsors are what get golfers on to this prestigious list. As they do for any athlete, but this was a big year for McIlroy and not even his lavish wedding could have bumped him off the list.

Not only was this a big year for sponsors, but McIlroy made it big in winnings last year. The four time major champion jumped 11 spots in his ranking by winning two FedEx Cup Playoff events, including the Tour Championship, ultimately giving him the $10 million bonus. He made a late start but he made it count, that’s for sure.

The No. 2 needs to get cracking if he wants to make the top-10 again next year. He plans to return to the field at the U.S. Open next week after taking a break because of a rib injury.

Excluding other athletes, here are the highest paid golfers in 2017: