This past weekend, golf made news again and this time not just on the Golf Channel. Broadcasters were talking about golf on Sportscenter, CNN, Fox, Morning TV, and writers everywhere were typing away, tweeting, and meeting deadlines in the printed press. Why you might ask? Well, it’s Tiger Tiger Woods y’all.
Tiger’s return was a shot in the arm at the end of a tremendous year for golf and had TV execs salivating at the possibilities for more. His return to competition caused a seismic shift in TV ratings all week long. Thursday’s first round of the Hero World Challenge, drew a .86 rating (about 786,000 viewers), which was up 190% from last year’s event. Keep in mind, this was a Thursday, and a golf tournament, and in December. According to NBC/Golf Channel, Thursday’s round was the most-watched fourth-quarter (Oct-Dec) round in Golf Channel history. Rounds 2, 3, and 4 didn’t disappoint either, with ratings up 200% on Friday, 162% / 92% (Golf Channel/NBC) on Saturday, and 126% / 54% (Golf Channel/NBC) on Sunday, respectively.
And don’t think TV execs were the only ones who noticed. Vegas, where everything happens and stays (unless it’s on an iPhone or Instagram), loved Tiger’s return as well. In fact, post tournament betting odds have already hit the streets. With a good start at the Hero World Challenge, some are already predicting what Tiger Woods’ 2017 could look like. Tiger’s over/under for numbers of tournaments, cuts made, withdrawals, and even his odds to win a major in 2017 (21/2) are all there waiting for those who wish to take a chance and put some big bucks down. Particularly interesting are the odds of Tiger ever winning a major again (10/11), which tells me even Vegas is holding out hope for the return of the Tiger of old.
BIO: Keith Cook has been a writer and contributing editor at thelocalgolfer.com since 2013. Follow Keith @KeithCookWriter on Facebook or @_KeithCook on Twitter.
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