Jason Day’s victory in the 2015 PGA Championship was a sweet one for a lot of golf fans who have taken to rooting for the likable Australian who had come so close so many times before in the majors. Not only did Day break through on Sunday with his first major championship, he did so in record fashion by shooting 20 under par.
How about the ratings, though? The final round produced some solid numbers for CBS, especially in the post-Tiger Woods era. (If we can officially say we’re in the post-Tiger era now, given he’s #286 in the world behind such luminaries as Jason Gore, Hudson Swafford, and Yoshitaka Takeya and missed his third straight major cut.)
Day’s victory drew a 5.1 overnight rating and a 12 share for the final round on Sunday, the second highest since 2009 (7.5/17) when Y.E. Yang toppled Tiger. The only final round higher in the last five years was last year’s dramatic tournament won by Rory McIlroy in primetime (6.0/13). The overnight rating peaked at a 7.8/16 from 7:7-30 for the closing stretch
Saturday’s rating for the PGA Championship matched last year’s totals with a 3.2 rating and an 8 share.
CBS Sports 3rd round coverage of PGA Championship ties w/ 2014 as highest in 6 years w/ 3.2/8 mm rating/share – peaks at 3.6/9 from 5:30-6PM
— CBS Sports PR (@CBSSportsGang) August 16, 2015
As Jason Day and Jordan Spieth were walking up the 18th fairway on Sunday, I was wondering if either Jim Nantz or Nick Faldo might drop the words “Big 3” in the hopes that Day, Spieth, and Rory McIlroy might become this generation’s Palmer, Nicklaus, and Player. And true enough, Faldo did. That’s a big, bold proclamation to make given the original Big 3 combined to win 34 majors and Spieth, Day, and McIlroy are sitting on 7 at the moment. And as Nantz pointed out on Sunday, there are several other young talents who will be pushing these three in the years to come.
But if you’re a golf fan, you can’t help but dream that maybe Spieth, McIlroy, and Day will be the core of the sport in the post-Tiger era for many years to come as they sit 1-2-3 in the World Golf Rankings. Golf needed to bounce back big after some near record or record low audiences for the first three majors last year. Beginning with McIlroy’s victory at last year’s PGA, the new stars of the game have provided just the boost and sense of optimism the sport needed at just the right time.