during the final round of the 2015 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 12, 2015 in Augusta, Georgia.

Sunday’s Final Round of The Masters provided an important checkpoint for the present and future of televised golf.  Coming off of last year’s ratings, which were the lowest in almost 60 years of television coverage, The Masters (and the sport) needed to rebound in a big way.  The Masters couldn’t have asked for a better leaderboard on Sunday with Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, and young phenom Jordan Spieth in the final three groups.  However, Spieth’s lead was so large that the result was never really in doubt on Sunday.  The closest the margin at the top got all Sunday long was three shots.

Would the masses key in to see perhaps the next big thing with the world’s best only playing a supporting part?  Would this mark the beginning of the Spieth Era?  Or would The Masters struggle once again.

The results should be treated with cautious optimism by the sport and CBS.  Ratings were up big for both Saturday and Sunday with the Final Round posting a 23% increase versus last year and a 9.6 overnight rating:

CBS Sports’ final-round coverage of the 2015 Masters on Sunday, April 12, which saw Jordan Spieth win the coveted Green Jacket in record-tying fashion, earned an average household metered market rating/share of 9.6/20, up 23% from last year’s 7.8/17.

This year’s final-round peaked with a rating/share of 11.5/22 from 6:30-7:00 PM, ET.  

CBS Sports’ coverage of the 2015 Masters on Saturday, April 11 scored an average HH rating/share of 6.5/16, up 48% from last year’s 4.4/11 in the metered markets.  

This year’s third-round peaked with a rating/share of 7.0/17 from 5:00-6:00 PM, ET.

So compared to last year, The Masters did great.  But keep in mind that last year’s Masters drew the lowest ratings since 1957 for Bubba Watson’s victory over Spieth with Tiger Woods absent and Phil Mickelson missing the cut.  When looking at the bigger picture, Spieth’s coronation was the fourth highest rated final round in the last ten years.  Given the margin of victory and Spieth’s wire-to-wire win, that’s a fairly impressive accomplishment.  The key will now be what Spieth and this new wave of young stars does from here as this might just be the starting point of a new day in golf.

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