Do fake Twitter followers aid Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy in PIP?

Nearly 40% of Tiger Woods' Twitter followers are a sham, according to a "fake follower" audit of the social media platform by Gambling.com; Rory McIlroy, Ian Poulter have next highest

Tiger Woods — 2022 British Open
Tiger Woods has won the PGA Tour's Player Impact Program each of its first two years.

Tiger Woods won the PGA Tour’s Player Impact Program for the second year in a row and will deposit a huge chunk of the $100 million pool that will be divided among 23 players, according to the Associated Press.

But what might not have been accounted for is that 40 percent of Woods’ 6.6 million Twitter followers are fake. That’s more than 2.6 million bogus followers and spam accounts, according to Gambling.com, a company that provides digital marketing services to the regulated online gambling industry.

The PGA Tour's PIP takes into account five different metrics, including social media. The social media score is based on a player’s social reach and engagement metrics.

Gambling.com ran Woods and other top names in golf through a “fake follower audit” by SparkToro, a software company that does market and audience research. It concluded that Woods has the most to lose from a crackdown of spam and fake accounts by Twitter’s new owner, Elon Musk.

Rory McIlroy, who placed second in this year’s Player Impact Program, is next on the list with 1.146 of his 3.2 million followers as fake (35.5%), followed by Ian Poulter with 1 million fakes of his 2.2 million followers (45.4%). Jordan Spieth (935,000 of 2 million fake, 46%) and Rickie Fowler (776,000 of 1.7 million fake, 46%) round out the top five in golf.

Jason Dufner has the biggest percentage of fake followers in golf with 52% of his 531,000 followers.

SparkToro’s audit tool accounts for bots, spam accounts, inactive users, propaganda, or other non-engaged/non-real users.