(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
By Joel Beall
In case golf needed a reminder that Tiger Woods doesn’t so much move the needle as he is the needle, Masters Sunday served as a shout-from-the-rooftops reminder. Despite fears that the moved-up tee times—the leaders went off five hours earlier due to weather threats—could wreak havoc on its viewership, CBS Sports broke a record for the highest viewership for a morning golf telecast in history with an average of 10.8 million people tuning in. Just as impressive, a rerun of the broadcast averaged 4.5 million viewers. For context, that made it the second-highest golf broadcast (not counting the Masters’ morning viewing) of the year, only behind Saturday’s third-round coverage from Augusta National.
That magnetism manifested on social media as well.
Cam Rogers, who runs a Tiger-themed podcast, made an astute observation on Monday morning: in just one week, video of Woods’ winning Masters putt already has 7.4 million more views than Patrick Reed’s from a year ago.
Tiger Woods is golf example #1,098,334
The Masters tweets out video of the final putt from the champion each year. Patrick Reed's winning putt from 2018 has been viewed 393,000 times.
Tiger's winning putt has been viewed 7.9 million times.
— Cam Rogers (@MrRogers99) April 22, 2019
According to my MAC education, that’s over 20 times as many clicks. In one week. A figure so astonishing we had to double-check, and sure enough, the numbers don’t lie:
— Masters Tournament (@TheMasters) April 14, 2019
Here's the putt that won it all for Patrick Reed at the 2018 Masters!
— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) April 8, 2018
Granted, Reed’s tap-in wasn’t exactly must-see theatre, and for reasons that became justified as the year went on, Reed’s on the other end of the popularity spectrum from Big Cat. Nevertheless, given it was Reed who threw Tiger under the bus, we’re sure this ratio won’t be regurgitated by Woods the next time they cross paths.