It had been over 900 days since Tiger Woods last won an official PGA tournament before Sunday. With his victory at Bay Hill, Tiger Woods finally broke his winless streak and did something few men in the universe are capable of doing at the present time – compete with Tim Tebow for space in the headlines of the New York tabloids. Tiger’s victory isn’t just great news for his game though, it’s of course great news for the sport of golf. While Phil Mickelson has seen a revival in his game this year, and Rory McIlroy has asserted himself as a superstar with crossover appeal, neither is the proven ratings king that Tiger Woods is. Simply put, the sport of golf has missed this Tiger Woods for two and a half years. The dominant, best player of all time, not the hapless, wayward shell of his former self. And, with his victory, the sport got a huge boost in the ratings yesterday, even defeating the NCAA Tournament while Tiger was closing out his victory according to CNBC’s Darren Rovell:
That number is a great one for the PGA Tour considering Bay Hill is a non-major event. It’s even better news for the PGA considering it was going head to head against UNC-Kansas in the Elite 8 and a NASCAR race in Fontana. The NCAA game didn’t have good news on the ratings front according to SBJ’s John Ourand:
NCAA ratings had been holding steady throughout the tournament, but Kentucky’s blowout win over Baylor surely had to hurt their Sunday ratings momentum. Overall, the tournament hasn’t produced the kind of memorable moments we have come to expect. Yet, with four nationally recognized powerhouse programs in the Final Four, I’d expect ratings to increase dramatically from last year when both VCU and Butler were involved.
Today though is all about the PGA Tour high fiving each other because their messiah has risen from the ashes. With Tiger back in the win column, as well as Phil Mickelson and Rory McIlroy getting victories this year, one can argue that golf hasn’t been in a stronger position in a decade, since Tiger Woods ruled the sports world before his personal life began dominating headlines. Tiger’s win at Bay Hill will only serve to make this year’s Masters a huge event for CBS. And if Tiger is in a back nine duel on Sunday with either Phil or Rory, it could be a history making event for the most prestigious golf tournament on the calendar.