Blog Entry

Rory and Tiger a smash hit for tour TV ratings

Posted on: March 5, 2012 5:42 pm

By Steve Elling

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. -- Once again, the public appetite for Tiger Woods, even 30 months after his last PGA Tour victory, never seems to wane.

Rising star Rory McIlroy did his fair share, too.
With the two leading men trading shots down the stretch on Sunday, the Honda Classic pulled its best overnight rating in a decade, grabbing a 3.2 rating for the final round, where McIlroy held off the charging Woods by two strokes.

The rating is the best for the event's final round since 2002, when Matt Kuchar won the event. McIlroy held on and became the new No. 1 player in the world, withstanding a 62 posted by Woods, the best final-round score of his career.

In all, the network reported a Sunday rating that 78 percent higher than the mark at Honda. which managed a 1.8 overnight for the final round. The broadcast hit high tide with a 4.3 rating as McIlroy in the telecast's final minutes.

With the No. 1 ranking on the line for McIlroy, the reigning U.S. Open champion, NBC earned a 1.9 overnight rating on Saturday, marking the best third-round overnight since '05. NBC sister network Golf Channel averaged 1.04 million viewers for its coverage on Thursday, marking the event's most-viewed opening round ever.

On the ground, Honda officials claimed a 44 percent increase in fans, drawing 162,000 for the week.


Since: Jun 5, 2011
Posted on: March 5, 2012 6:07 pm

Rory and Tiger a smash hit for tour TV ratings

Yessssss.  This is exactly why I laugh at those who complain that Tiger "isn't relevant."  The Tour and many fans want McIlroy to become a major star, but what they want the most is a healthy, dominant Tiger Woods.  They prove it when they "vote" with their remote controls.  One thing is for sure: a duel between Rory and Tiger in the last round of any major would attract the largest ratings since Tiger's broken leg US Open victory.  

Rory has been a surprise to me, because I thought he spent too much of last year celebrating, and I thought it wasn't the best time to make swing changes.  He is definitely good for the game, though.  He is pleasant, charismatic, and treats the game with the respect that is a hallmark of players from Ireland, Scotland, and Great Britain.  The fact that he has performed so well this year bodes well for the health of the game.  

However, the US Tour is the US Tour, and not the European Tour.  It needs a US player to be on top or fighting Rory every week for the top spot.  If Tiger makes it all the way back, as he appears to be on the verge of doing, it could make 2012 one of the best summers for golf in a long time.  

If I had a "vote," I would be in favor.  Or is that "favour?"

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or