NBC and Golf Fans Rejoice as Tiger Roars and Finds His Game

Categories: Watching TV

Written By

June 19th, 2010

Say what you will about whatever’s happened off the golf course, that was fun to watch.

That’s uh… a superhuman shot right there. It takes a lot of guts to even try a shot like that and even more guts to actually pull it off.

NBC announcers after Tiger Woods' second shot on 18 in Saturday's third round of the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach.

It's well-documented that Tiger Woods is good for golf's TV ratings so there's not much more to say on that score. But the comments from NBC's announcers above after his second shot on 18 were spot-on.   Minutes earlier Woods had sunk a putt on 17  that had a crazy break to it --  a putt I'd miss 5 out of 10 times on the Playstation 3 even if I used the feature that allows you to cheat by showing you where to aim the putt.

My response to both the putt and the second shot on 18 were the same: hearty laughter.  It's really the only appropriate response to have when you see something so ridiculous.  Superhuman indeed and most definitely a lot of fun to watch.

With a 31 on the back nine on Saturday, Tiger ended his day 1 under for the tournament and in third place, currently four back of the leaders in front of him.  If it stays that way, both Tiger and NBC are in decent position heading into Sunday's final round.

Update From Bill:

I approached my computer ready for a post entitled "Tiger Just Saved the US Open Ratings", and saw Robert had already posted this, so I'll just add the historical US Open ratings below.

Not that NBC has anything to be sorry for, but Tiger will be paired on Sunday with Gregory Havret (who?), when he was so close to being paired with Phil Mickelson. That would have been a ratings gift from heaven.

Unfortunately, we no longer get comparable sports event ratings from Nielsen so last year's numbers aren't in the table or chart below, but the 2009 US Open was plagued by rain delays that absolutely killed the ratings.

The spike in 2008 was driven by Tiger Woods' exciting tie on the final hole of regulation and then 18 hole playoff victory, with a broken leg.

Full 1971-2008 US Open Golf TV Ratings Detail:

Year Viewers HH Rating Share Telecasts Network Winner
1971 6.4 25 2 ABC Lee Trevino
1972 9.1 28 2 ABC Jack Nicklaus
1973 9.0 30 2 ABC Johnny Miller
1974 7.3 25 2 ABC Hale Irwin
1975 6.8 23 3 ABC Lou Graham
1976 7.3 23 2 ABC Jerry Pate
1977 5.5 21 2 ABC Hubert Green
1978 5.8 22 2 ABC Andy North
1979 5.2 19 2 ABC Hale Irwin
1980 6.1 20 2 ABC Jack Nicklaus
1981 7.5 25 2 ABC David Graham
1982 6.9 21 2 ABC Tom Watson
1983 5.9 18 3 ABC Larry Nelson
1984 5.9 17 3 ABC Fuzzy Zoeller*
1985 6.3 19 2 ABC Andy North
1986 5.6 19 2 ABC Raymond Floyd
1987 8.85 6.8 19 2 ABC Scott Simpson
1988 5.31 4.3 13 5 ABC Curtis Strange*
1989 6.41 5.0 16 2 ABC Curtis Strange
1990 6.30 5.1 17 3 ABC Hale Irwin*
1991 5.30 4.4 14 3 ABC Payne Stewart*
1992 3.63 5.7 17 2 ABC Tom Kite
1993 5.86 4.8 16 2 ABC Lee Janzen
1994 5.76 4.6 15 3 ABC Ernie Els*
1995 6.26 5.0 17 2 NBC Corey Pavin
1996 5.32 4.2 14 4 NBC Steve Jones
1997 7.09 5.5 18 4 NBC Ernie Els
1998 5.91 4.6 14 4 NBC Lee Janzen
1999 6.69 5.1 16 4 NBC Payne Stewart
2000 8.24 6.0 16 4 NBC Tiger Woods
2001 7.62 5.5 16 4 NBC Retief Goosen*
2002 10.75 7.5 20 2 NBC Tiger Woods
2003 5.72 4.2 12 4 NBC Jim Furyk
2004 6.31 4.4 13 4 NBC Retief Goosen
2005 5.82 4.2 12 4 NBC Michael Campbell
2006 5.00 3.5 9 4 NBC Geoff Ogilvy
2007 6.49 4.5 12 4 NBC Angel Cabrera
2008 7.83 5.3 13 5 NBC Tiger Woods*

*playoff

Nielsen TV Ratings Data: ©2009 Nielsen Media Research, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

 
© 2014 Tribune Digital Ventures