ORLANDO – Whether she’s cresting or crashing, the record continues to prove that Michelle Wie attracts attention like few other figures in golf.
The 20-year-old won for the first time as a professional on Sunday in Mexico, and even though the Golf Channel broadcast of the event was shown on a tape-delay basis in the early evening, the controversial Stanford student blew her male peers out of the water in the ratings game.
According to GC data released Thursday, the broadcast rating of the Lorena Ochoa Invitational in Guadalajara was double that of the live broadcast of the PGA Tour’s season finale at Disney World.
Moreover, she smoked Tiger Woods, whose victory at the Aussie Masters was shown Sunday morning, also on a tape-delayed basis. All three were Golf Channel broadcasts.
The network reported Thursday that the Wie victory had the best Sunday rating of the three tournaments (0.72), followed by the Woods win (0.62) and the Children’s Miracle Network Classic (0.36) at Disney, won in a three-man playoff by Stephen Ames.
While the viewing numbers are hardly huge compared to other sports and must be kept in context – the LPGA rating number means an average of 754,000 viewers were watching Wie play at any given moment – it underscores her potential as a golfing draw card.
The Wie ratings figure represents the highest for any single LPGA tournament round broadcast on cable television this year and was double the Golf Channel’s typical viewing numbers generated by the women’s tour. In other words, her win in Mexico was watched by more people than the major-championship rounds televised this year by ESPN and TNT.