If you need another reason to cheer for Tiger Woods, consider he is either the closest thing golf has going for it or the only thing it has towards marketing. Case in point, the #1 player in the world dazzled anybody and everybody who tuned into the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill with yet another electrifying moment. The PGA Tour attempted to prolong the moment by issuing a press release regarding the television ratings.
NBC Sports' final round coverage (2:30-8 p.m. ET), which stretched into prime time (and bordered on a marathon), earned the best overnight rating for a golf event since the 2008 U.S. Open. Golf fans will remember the outcome and venue for that one too. The Sunday round at Bay Hill was the highest for any PGA Tour event (excludes major championships) in more than two years (Jan. 28, 2007, Buick Invitational), according to Nielsen Media Research. Yes, you know who won that one too. The 4.9 overnight rating and 10 share was the best for the final round of Bay Hill in seven years (2002 - 5.7/11, Woods victory) and an increase of 23 percent over last year (4.0/9) which Woods also won with a birdie putt on the final hole. Now contrast these figures with the last two major championships, which Woods was absent from. Sunday’s
ratings were 48 percent higher than those for the final round of the British Open, and they were 75 percent better than the final round of the P.G.A. Championship.
So when Tiger is in the mix, more people take notice or stop what they are doing to pay attention. He elevates by way of his performance the sport to a wider audience. Does it translate into more people playing the game or buying clubs? No, but its a start and in this economy any help is appreciated.