Tiger Woods effect: Record viewership at PGA Championships since 2009, up 73% in a year

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The final round of the 2018 PGA Championship on Sunday garnered a record TV viewership ratings – a 73% increase over the past year.

According to American television network CBC the number of viewers grew form 4.9 million to 8.5 million as Tiger Woods mounted a final-round charge in an attempt to catch eventual winner Brooks Koepka at Bellerive Country Club.

Wood’s second place finish marks his best performance in a major since 2009, where was also placed second at the PGA Championship. His final round of 64 was his best ever final round in a major and has moved him up to 26th in the world rankings.

The ratings were the best for a PGA Championship since 2009, once again when Woods was involved. On that occasion, the 14-time major winner was pushed into second place by South Korea’s Yang Yong-eun.

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The centennial edition of the tournament on Sunday saw viewership peaked in the last half-hour of Sunday’s action, with an audience of 12.3 million watching as Woods, Koepka and Australian Adam Scott played to a thrilling conclusion.

Similar stats occurred in the major’s third round, with the network experiencing a 54% increase on last year’s figures at Quail Hollow.

Woods’ return to form and prominence also lead to TV ratings skyrocketing at The Open Championship in July. Woods had finished tied sixth at Carnoustie and briefly held the outright lead in the final round. His presence brought about the highest TV ratings for The Open since he had completed the Grand Slam by winning at St Andrews in 2000.

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The fortunes for broadcasters and sponsors rose to a new high ever since Wood’s resurgence from long, infrequent hiatus on account of back injuries due to which he underwent four surgeries since 2014. Woods returned to competitive golf at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas. He shot rounds of 69-68-75-68 and finished tied for 9th place.

Woods’ world ranking went from 1,199th to 668th, the biggest jump in the world rankings in his career, after he returned to competitive golf last year with Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas where he finished tied for 9th place.

This year in March, Woods finished one-shot back and tied for second at the Valspar Championship in Florida, his first top-five finish on the PGA Tour since 2013. He then tied for sixth with a score of five under par at the 2018 Open Championship.

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