Is the slumping economy hitting America's premier athletes? Yes and no. The average haul of the top-earning U.S. athletes in SI's annual Fortunate 50 (based on salary, winnings, endorsements and appearances) has fallen to $23.6 million, down from $25.1 million last year. It's the first decrease in the six years that SI has compiled the list. Most of that is due to reduced earnings of perennial runaway Nos. 1 and 2, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, both of whom have recently lost key auto-manufacturer endorsement deals (not to mention Tiger's multimillion-dollar decline in on-course earnings and appearance fees during his eight months off following knee surgery).

Otherwise, the richest of the rich are humming along as usual. A record nine NBA players earned in excess of $20 million in salary this past season, and the New York Yankees have continued to spend into the stratosphere, giving new acquisitions CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira and A.J. Burnett their Fortunate 50 debuts. Even in tough economic times, being at the top of one's game seems recession-proof.

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RANK NAME TOTAL INCOME SALARY/WINNINGS ENDORSEMENTS 2008 TOTAL (RANK)
1. Tiger Woods 99.7 7.7 92 127.9 (1)
2. Phil Mickelson 53.0 6.4 46.6 62.4 (2)
3. LeBron James 42.4 14.4 28 40.4 (3)
4. Alex Rodriguez 39 33 6 35 (T-6)
5. Shaquille O'Neal 35 20 15 35 (T-6)
6. Kevin Garnett 34.8 24.8 10 31 (8)
7. Kobe Bryant 31.3 21.3 10 35.5 (5)
8. Allen Iverson 29 22 7 27.1 (12)
9. Derek Jeter 28.5 20 8.5 30 (10)
10. Peyton Manning 27 14 13 30.5 (9)

*All figures in millions of dollars

See the entire Fortunate 50 list at SI.com/fortunate50

PHOTOSPRINT/AP (MANNING)

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)