The shocking comeback by Ernie Els on Sunday, as well as the startling collapse by Adam Scott, led to the highest ratings ever for the British Open on cable. Saturday's round three coverage drew a 3.1 rating and 3.5 million viewers, up 48% from last year. Sunday's final round coverage drew a 3.6 rating and 4.2 million viewers, up 38% from last year. Even the early rounds on Thursday and Friday were way up, with Thursday's opening round drawing a 1.2 (up 71%), and Friday's second round drawing a 1.6 (up 78%).
Considering the Open Championship is aired live from Great Britian, which means that it's shown in America in the morning and early afternoon on the east coast, these ratings are fantastic. US Open ratings were up overall in comparison to last year, but Masters ratings suffered a drop.
I hate to say it, but what do the two tournaments that were up have in common, as opposed to the Masters? Tiger Woods. He finished third this weekend, and was in striking distance going into the weekend at Olympic before fading late. At Augusta, Woods finished 15 strokes back of Bubba Watson, and was out of it (despite making the cut) going into the weekend. He's still a huge draw, and the British Open emphasized that point yet again.