The 2016 Masters is officially underway.
From the world-famous Augusta National Golf Club, 83 of the world's top professionals and six amateurs will tee it up for the 80th edition of Bobby Jones' tournament. With representation from 24 nations, eyes around the globe would historically be fixated on the leaderboard with anticipation for the next storyline to unfold.
However, this generation of fans wants more. And the game of golf knows it. Tournament and money standings aside, the new-age way to gauge standings of a player, and to attract the next generation of fans, lies in their social narrative.
A recent report from MVPindex, a company that uses analytics to measure social media rankings in real-time for athletes, teams and sports leagues (and co-created by Jordan Speith's father, Shawn) ranks the top 10 golfers on social media, who are "Masters" in their craft.
1. Rory McIlroy
With 2.8M followers and an aficionado of selfies, McIlroy leads the way with the highest index score earning him the "green jacket" of social media.
2. Tiger Woods
Despite the fact he isn't playing in this year's Masters, and isn't incredibly active on social media (less than 500 tweets, like ever), Woods' #2 ranking proves that he is by far, the most popular golfer on the planet.
Pretty cool that at dinner tonight 3 of us sitting next to each other have won a combined 14 green jackets.
-- Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) April 6, 2016
3. Jordan Spieth
Spieth's father is the co-founder of MVPIndex, the social media intelligence platform that compiled this data. It's safe to say that with familial expertise, Spieth takes his social media presence seriously, and as an integral part of managing his brand.
-- Jordan Spieth (@JordanSpieth) April 4, 2016
4. Justin Rose
Rose took to Instagram to comedically depict a golf analyst recapping his Hong Kong victory. He is notorious for being the most active golfer on Instagram, with 265K followers.
5. Bubba Watson
Watson took engagement to the next level by launching his own emojis for the 2016 Masters called, "Bubbamojis". Fans can create their own Bubba-inspired expressions, images, audio video and GIFs.
-- bubba watson (@bubbawatson) April 5, 2016
6. Ian ?Poulter
Poulter not only uses social media as a utility to engage his fans, but also to brilliantly commission the removal of a heckler from the Valspar Championship back in March.
-- Ian Poulter (@IanJamesPoulter) March 12, 2016
7. Rickie Fowler
Fowler was the second most mentioned athlete in all of sports last year on Twitter with 11,701, barely being edged out by LeBron James' 12,939 mentions. With such high rates of engagement, it's no wonder he's moved up 4 spots since last year from #11 to #7.
When you both make a hole-in-one in the Par-3 Contest.
-- PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) April 6, 2016
8. Graeme McDowell
McDowell engages his 718K followers by offering, shall we say, "professional" advice to amateur golfers.
Don't hit balls so close to that road https://t.co/vSmT0hL5Tt
-- Graeme McDowell (@Graeme_McDowell) March 4, 2016
9. John Daly
The antics of Daly make you want to follow him immediately - hitting seven balls in the water in a golf tournament to card an 18 on a single hole, frequently throwing his club in the water, and let's not forget the close comparison of Cam Newton's infamous animal printed Super Bowl pants with Daly's golf attire.
10. Lee Westwood
Westwood, once a prolific tweeter, actually quit social media for a fixed period of time, due to the influx of negativity. He has sense gotten back in the swing of things raking #10 with a following of over 800K.
Practicing at Liberty national. https://t.co/t8xBegqrnN
-- Lee Westwood (@WestwoodLee) August 21, 2015