After what was by all accounts a disastrous 2014 in golf’s four major events, the news has been better throughout 2015.
Jordan Spieth’s victory at the Masters was up 26% versus last year for the final round on Sunday. His second major triumph of the year saw ratings increase 41% for Fox’s first major championship telecast for the US Open. Granted, those increases came after record or near record ratings lows, but in the post-Tiger era golf will take any positive news it can get.
The upward trends continued at the 2015 British Open. With Spieth looking for the third leg of the grand slam and a pretty good leaderboard featuring Jason Day, Louis Oosthuizen, Adam Scott, and eventual winner Zach Johnson, the tournament peformed quite well. This fact in spite of the lengthy weather delays that pushed the tournament to a rare Monday afternoon finish.
The 2015 British Open finished up 29% in viewership (1.94 million vs 1.50 million) throughout the tournament. Incredibly, the Final Round actually saw an increase in viewership for Monday’s climax over last year – 2.85 million vs 2.70 million.
These are encouraging signs for the sport considering the fact that Tiger Woods has been non-existent for the final two rounds for each of the last two majors. While golf may never reach those heights again in any of our lifetimes, hopefully this year’s majors have proven that the sky isn’t falling completely and there’s still plenty of young stars and plenty of great action worth watching.