Watson Wins His 2nd Masters

Winners, Losers from Augusta

Rory McIlroy and 15 Other Golfers That Galleries Absolutely Love

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Rory McIlroy and 15 Other Golfers That Galleries Absolutely Love
Andrew Redington/Getty Images

As an individual sport, being a fan of golf is different than other sports. Even if you have a favorite, you can't help but applaud when the other guys do well.

In sports where defense is allowed, you can at least criticize your favorites for not playing better.

Obviously, the sport has been around for hundreds of years. From a television sense, people didn't see much golf until the late-50's, when Arnold Palmer rose to popularity.

Palmer is a prime example of an obvious fact: While galleries (or Patrons, at Augusta), are generally respectful of all golfers, they like some a lot more than others.

It's tough to use a word like overrated to describe Arnold Palmer, because he did accomplish so much on the course alone. But if you were to ask fans to name a few golfers, active or not, Palmer would probably be one of the first three names that came out of their mouths, along with Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods.

Believe it or not, that is disproportionately high. Palmer is seventh in career majors and fifth in career wins.

Don't get me wrong, Palmer deserves to be the icon that he is today, but he is not a top-three golfer of all time.

For different reasons, some golfers are just more popular than others. Sure, winning is a big part of it, Palmer would easily rank in the top-10 of all time on that alone. But in this case, winning isn't the only thing.

A golfer can liked because of their good looks, aggressive style of play, good attitude in a big win (or a big loss), being identifiable, etc.

The game is more popular now than it was during Palmer's day, but no golfer has matched Palmer's popularity since the King was in his prime. Chances are, nobody ever will.

What we are looking for here are the 15 current golfers that come the closest.

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