Seven Pro Golfers Make Up ESPN’s ‘World Fame 100’ list

Tiger Woods

Have you ever wondered who is the most famous athlete in the world? Now we say athlete, not golfer, but plenty of the sport’s best made the list published by ESPN Tuesday.

The golfers on the list start at No. 7 with Tiger Woods, and reasonably so. He is followed by Phil Mickelson (No. 13), Rory McIlroy (No. 20), Jordan Spieth (No. 50), Justin Rose (No. 51), Lydia Ko (No. 81), and Billy Horschel (No. 83). Oddly enough, world No. 1 Jason Day isn’t on the list.


Tiger, Phil and Rory each rank higher than NBA MVP Steph Curry (No. 34) and Super Bowl quarterbacks Cam Newton (No. 32) and Peyton Manning (No. 38).

At No. 7, Tiger Woods earned his high ranking by winning $1 million last season, having $50 million in endorsements, 3.1 million Facebook likes and 5.8 million Twitter followers. For some perspective, the No. 1 athlete on the list is Cristiano Ronaldo who has a salary of $53 million, endorsements of $27 million, 111.9 million Facebook likes and 42.7 million Twitter followers.

Who are the top-five most famous athletes in the world? Here you go:

  1. Cristiano Ronaldo (soccer)
  2. LeBron James (basketball)
  3. Lionel Messi (soccer)
  4. Neymar (soccer)
  5. Roger Federer (tennis)

“Ben Alamar, ESPN’s director of sports analytics, devised a formula that combines salary and endorsements with social media following and Google search popularity to create the ESPN World Fame 100 rankings,” ESPN explains. 

So we pose this question to you: Do you agree with this list? Should any other golfers be on the list?

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