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2 golfers are among the 10 most famous athletes in the world, according to ESPN

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ESPN released its third-annual “World Fame 100” earlier this week. There are two golfers inside the top 10 on that list: Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.

ESPN concocts a secret ranking stew that’s one part Google trend score, one part endorsement money, and one part social media impact.

The 42-year-old Woods comes in at No. 6 on the list. His estimated $45 million in endorsement money is well above the list average of $12.6 million. Likewise, his search score of 88 is more than double the list average of 35. Woods’ social following, however, at 6.3 million, is below the list average of 10.6 million.

Mickelson, 47, is 10th on the list. He earns an estimated $50 million in endorsements annually (more than Woods, according to ESPN’s research). His search score is a mere three, however, well below the list average of 35, and he has no presence on social media.

Other golfers on the list: Rory McIlroy (15), Jordan Spieth (16), Justin Rose (69), Sergio Garcia (73), Rickie Fowler (87). Michelle Wie (97) is the lone LPGA Tour member.

Rankings like these are always good debate fodder, and when they’re the product of panels and consensus, there’s plenty of disagreement to be had. However, as this ranking is (theoretically, at least) objective, and built from ESPN’s algorithm, there’s no real debating players’ relative positions.

Critics could only take issue with the algorithm itself. And as we only understand the calculations in their broadest strokes, there’s not a ton to say except, maybe, asking: Is internet fame the same as real-world fame?

Anyway, the world of golf has to be pleased to have Woods and Mickelson inside the top 10, and perhaps even more pleased (from a “future of the game” standpoint) to see Spieth and McIlroy inside the top 20.

See the full ranking here.

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2 Comments

  1. dj

    May 23, 2018 at 7:40 pm

    Why do comments wait for moderation? Nothing offensive…

  2. steve

    May 23, 2018 at 1:49 pm

    LeBron James is tops in endorsments at $55M…. I hate Sprite … peeuuuwww

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19th Hole

Looks like Tiger is exploring some innovative solutions to his putting woes…

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Tiger Woods was 39th in strokes gained: putting in 2018. Historically an excellent putter, Woods was hot-and-cold with the flatstick, even benching his soulmate Scotty Cameron Newport 2.

It looks like Woods may have an ace in the hole for the upcoming season, however, with respect to his green reading and putt sinking. Check out this video posted to his Instagram from the Tiger Woods Invitational on the Monterey Peninsula earlier this week.

Good thing the USGA is restricting the use of green-reading devices and technologies, because this kid looks close to cracking the eternal mystery of the perfect marriage of line and speed for every putt.

Cool stuff, though, isn’t it? It’s also cool to see Tiger so genuinely excited about his “mentee.”

We all know the story of how, after September 11, Woods re-evaluated his charitable endeavors and began to conceive of the Tiger Woods Learning Center. He’s spoken passionately about the students who have made their way through the various programs in the past, and there’s no doubt he cares deeply about the TGR Foundation’s efforts, but seeing a thin slice of that reality is awesome.

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19th Hole

The 7 best #GolfWRX photos on Instagram today (10.11.18)

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If you’re on Instagram, you’re hopefully aware that we are ‘gramming it up as well (@golfwrx). And if you’re not following us, well, that hurts our feelings more than a three-putt bogey.

Even if you do follow WRX on Instagram, however, you may not be aware that an abundance of equipment enthusiasts are hashtagging their photos #GolfWRX. We feel it’s only right to feature the best of the WRX-tagged imagery here.

And if you’re not on Instagram, well there’s no way you could see these photos, so think of this series as a handy filter for the best #GolfWRX photos from the past 24 hours.

Michael Martinez with a phenomenal custom Nike concept sketch in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month.

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Hispanic Heritage Month #golf #nikeshoes #leetrevino

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Worse than the blue screen of death…

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Sadness. #RadryGolf

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In the pantheon of golf tattoos, this one has to be featured prominently, no?

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Tattoo level: Tin Cup ???????? ???? via @pgamemes

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BB&F continues to reign as the ferrule king.

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Ferrule B

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Kraken’s latest ballmarker is hotter than a fire track.

With all due respect to aquatic creatures, these are the best kind of scallops.

A clean sole grind and stamping from Don White. Nothing like it.

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Made with a purpose.

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If you’re on Instagram, remember to hashtag your photos #GolfWRX. And if you’re not on Instagram, well, don’t.

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19th Hole

Report: No tickets will be sold for Tiger-Phil match

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Sorry, fans, you’re not going to be able to buy tickets to the Tiger Woods-Phil Mickelson $9 million megamatch at Shadow Creek in Las Vegas, November 23.

Per a report from the Las Vegas Review-Journal, only a “small gathering of sponsors and VIPs” will be allowed on course. The report also indicates that, in contrast to Phil Mickelson’s promised primetime (ET) showdown, the match will be played under the Nevada sun. The official start time is yet to be announced, ditto the PPV price.

We corrected the promo graphic below to eliminate the crowd. But right-handed Tiger Woods swinging a left-handed club still needs fixing.

Woods is the -220 favorite at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook. Mickelson is a +180 underdog.

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