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Four Irishmen in golf's Top-50 biggest earners

Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell, Pádraig Harrington and Darren Clarke earned $45m last year according to Golf DigestIf you are ever tempted to feel sorry for any of Ireland’s leading golfers, don’t. Last year, the big four of Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell, Pádraig Harrington and Darren Clarke pulled down $45 million by the sweat of their collective brows.

Golf Digest’s Ron Sirak breaks down the Top 50 earners in his annual list and while Clarke might have fallen from 20th to 46th, he still added $5m in off course endorsements to his “paltry” tournament earnings of $276,000.

McIlroy? Prior to signing his mega deal with Nike, Golf Digest makes the 23-year old from Co Down the game’s fifth biggest earner with $22m last year - a self-generated pay rise of around $8m.

McDowell’s $9.1m saw him rise four places to 17th, more than enough to handle any wedding expenses, with Harrington down three to 21st with “just” $8.7m.

The list is topped by you know who with $86m.
 
5 Rory McIlroy 2012 RANK: 11 ON COURSE: $15,582,782 OFF COURSE: $7,000,000 TOTAL: $22,582,782
2011 RANK: 24 | ON COURSE: $8,174,832 | OFF COURSE: $5,900,000 | TOTAL: $14,074,832

17 Graeme McDowell 2012 RANK: 21 ON COURSE: $4,601,827 OFF COURSE: $4,500,000 TOTAL: $9,101,827
2011 RANK: 14    | ON COURSE: $3,086,977 | OFF COURSE: $5,700,000 | TOTAL: $8,786,977

21. Padraig Harrington 2012 RANK: 18 | ON COURSE: $2,725,612 | OFF COURSE: $6,000,000 | TOTAL: $8,725,612
2011 RANK: 12 | ON COURSE: $1,299,425 | OFF COURSE: $8,500,000 | TOTAL: $9,799,425

46. Darren Clarke 2012 RANK: 20 | ON COURSE: $276,187 | OFF COURSE: $5,000,000 | TOTAL: $5,276,187
2011 RANK: NR* ON COURSE: $2,541,194 OFF COURSE: $6,250,000 TOTAL: $8,791,194