Few states produce the sheer quantity of professional sports stars Arizona has over the last few decades, thanks in large part to the growth of major metropolitan areas like Phoenix and Tucson — hence the success of Arizona sports betting.
Between golf mainstays like Phil Mickelson and a who’s who of MLB, NBA, NFL and NHL stars, the Grand Canyon State has no shortage of athletic star power to pull from.
BetArizona.com utilized a weighted system between AhRefs.com Keywords Explorer and Google Trends to look at the most searched Arizona athletes over the past 12 months. Once finding both statistics, they were averaged to determine the Top 10. Arizona athlete was defined as a person who was born or resided in Arizona in their formative childhood and teenage years for more than 10 years.
Most Well-Known Athletes from Arizona in 2023
BetMGM Sportsbook Arizona lists Mickelson as +15000 to win the British Open, which takes place July 20-23 at Royal Liverpool Golf Course.
LIV Controversy Pushes Mickelson to Top of List
Leading the way in the 48th State is six-time major champion Mickelson, who pulled in a search volume of 341,000 — dwarfing the No. 2 Arizona-born athlete (Brock Purdy, at 214,000).
The former Arizona State University golfer and Scottsdale native has as deep a tie to the state of Arizona as any pro athlete, with Mickelson pulling off his first professional win in Tucson (at the then Northern Telecom Open) and serving as a mainstay at the Waste Management Phoenix Open each February.
Mickelson left the PGA Tour for the new Saudi-backed LIV Golf Tour last year, which caused significant controversy. Now Mickelson’s future is in doubt with the recently announced merger between the PGA and LIV.
Purdy went from Gilbert’s Perry High School, where was a three-star prospect, to Iowa State and the San Francisco 49ers — who took the 23-year-old gunslinger with the last pick of the 2022 NFL Draft, making him that year’s “Mr. Irrelevant.”
The Queen Creek native showed he was quite the steal as the 262nd pick in the draft as a rookie, leading the 49ers to a 5-0 record in the regular season, before taking San Francisco to the NFC Championship Game, where it fell to the Philadelphia Eagles, 31-7.
Arizona sportsbook apps list Purdy’s 49ers as +900 to win the Super Bowl, tied for fourth.
Other Arizona celebrity athletes on the list include NHL superstar forward Auston Matthews of Scottsdale (192,000 search volume), former NL MVP and Chandler native Cody Bellinger (176,000 search volume) and journeyman NFL quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick of Gilbert (111,000 search volume).