An article posted on the magazine’s website this week gives the rundown of the 2013 list, which will appear in the June 24 issue.
Woods had topped the Forbes list from 2001-2011 — staying there despite the loss of some sponsors in the wake of the sex scandal that engulfed him in November of 2009.
But he fell to third last year, behind boxers Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao.
Forbes calculates he is back on top, raking in $78.1 million over the 12 months from June 1, 2012 through June 1, 2013 from prize money, endorsements, appearance fees and golf course design work.
His resurgence on the course has seen him double his prize money from the previous 12 months.
According to Forbes, Woods’s victories have further boosted his income thanks to bonuses tied to wins from sponsors Nike and Rolex, while his course design business is improving after some setbacks.
Swiss tennis great Roger Federer ranks second on the list with earnings of $71.5 million, while Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant is third at 61.9 million.
Miami Heat star LeBron James, the NBA Most Valuable Player whose team is battling to repeat as champion this season, came in fourth with $59.8 million and New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees completed the top five with $51 million.
Mayweather dropped from first to 14th this year — tied with Filipino fight king Pacquiao.
Mayweather had earnings of $34 million from his fight with Robert Guerrero in May, while in the period covered for the 2012 list he fought twice.
Pacquiao netted $26 million from his December fight with Juan Manuel Marquez, according to Forbes, which reckons Pacquiao also pulled in an estimated $8 million in endorsements.
Russian Maria Sharapova was the highest earning woman on the list, in 22nd place. Fellow tennis players Serena Williams of the United States and Li Na of China were the only other women in the list of 100 sports figures.
Forbes based its earnings figures on salaries, bonuses, prize money, appearance fees and licensing and endorsement income for the 12 months between June 1, 2012 and June 1, 2013.