It is beyond obvious that Tiger Woods has already had a huge impact on TV ratings since making his return to golf. It hasn’t hurt that he’s performed quite well overall.
While he hasn’t been great in majors this season — finishing T32 at the Masters and missing the cut at the U.S. Open — Woods has three top 10 finishes that include a tie for second at the Valspar Championship, a tie for fifth at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, and a tie for fourth last week at the Quicken Loans National. He’s finished in the top 25 in seven of the 11 events he’s participated in. Personally, I think that’s outstanding considering at one point we weren’t sure if he was ever going to play again.
Those performances have also drastically helped with TV ratings, especially for events like the Quicken Loans National where the field wasn’t as strong as many of the major events of the season.
As Geoff Shackelford points out via Paulsen at Sports Media Watch, Woods’ effect on the Quicken Loans National’s final round ratings was a 92 percent increase over last year and a 28 percent increase over 2016. Not only that, but the third round also saw a huge increase and was up 143 percent.
"“The Tiger Effect” has consistently boosted PGA Tour ratings all season. Woods has played 20 rounds on broadcast television this season and all-but-one has posted an increase in ratings and viewership. The lone exception was the final round of the Memorial, which aired mostly on tape-delay."
While there are many who still moan and complain about Woods getting the amount of coverage he gets because he hasn’t won in a while, it’s clear that he is good for golf. Besides, having him in the field has been great not only for viewers, but for guys like Bronson Burgoon — in his second year on Tour — who never thought they would get a chance to play alongside one of the greatest ever.
"“He’s in my opinion the greatest golfer ever to play, so it was one of my best rounds I’ve ever played,” said Burgoon after his final round of 67 at the Quicken Loans National. “I’ve never seen anything like it. I’ve played with Jordan and Rickie. They bring a crowd, but nothing … I mean, that’s a sea of people. Unbelievable.”"
Woods also played alongside Joel Dahmen during the Quicken Loans National. Dahmen who said of the experience, “He made his fourth birdie in a row and I couldn’t stop smiling. That was the coolest thing ever on a golf course.”
Even the younger guys on the Tour are geeking out over seeing Woods in action again.
Sure we have D.J., Spieth, McIlroy, and Phil is still around, but no one has ever moved the needle like Tiger.
He’s been great for golf. So if you’re one of those who is complaining about having to watch him play, just sit back and keep your mouth shut, because we all know this won’t last forever.
[Ratings via Sports Media Watch]