As predicted, the return of Tiger Woods to competition last week in the Bahamas ranked very highly when it comes to US TVs most-watched golf tournaments of 2017.
More surprising was that the Hero World Challenge was a limited field event featuring 18 players and not an official 2017/18 PG Tour counting event.
Woods ended a 10-month absence to shoot rounds of 69, 68, 75 and 68 to finish with a very respectable share of ninth place and on a very tricky and very windy Bahamas golf course.
The US-based ‘Show Buzz Daily’ reports NBCs coverage of the third round rated 1.29, despite Woods shooting a round of 75. The network’s final round coverage ranked slightly lower at 1.19.
Topping the ratings and showing football remains king in the States and it was the overall coverage of the NFLs Sunday round of matches that topped the rating at 12.0.
The Golf Channel reported that thanks to Tiger’s ‘fitter’ return there was a 29% increase in Hero World Challenge viewership compared to their 2016 coverage of the event and with 22.4 million total minutes streamed that is a 201 % increase on 2016 too.
That placed it second only to The Golf Channel’s 2017 coverage of Jordan Speith’s victory at The Open.
However when you compare other golf tournaments throughout 2017, Woods appearance in the Hero World Challenge was higher-ranking than the regular PGA Tour events. It also had a higher rating than the 2017 Masters, won by Sergio Garcia, that peaked with a ranking of 1.0 on the second day of the event in April.
The recent Tour Championship, won by PGA Tour ‘Golfer of the Year’ Justin Thomas, was ranked 1.16 for day three coverage and 1.60 over the final round.
Topping the golf rankings in the US in 2017 was the Turner Network’s coverage of August’s PGA Championship, won with a last day 68 by Thomas, that ranked 1.36 but was still well behind the start to the NASCAR Series that ranked 2.11.