Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods Fire Up TV Ratings for Honda Classic: Fan's Take

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Tiger Woods.
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Tiger Woods.

With Rory McIlroy leading the Honda Classic going into the final round of play Sunday, March 4, 2012, and Tiger Woods seven strokes back, I wondered if TV fans would tune in to watch the final round? I'm a big time golf fan and have been since I was a kid in the 1970s, so I knew I was going to watch.

Honda Classic Gets Highest TV Ratings in a Decade

With Tiger Woods firing a 62, and making a huge charge that included a birdie and an eagle finish on 17 and 18 at the PGA National Champion Course in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, where the Honda Classic is held, fans really tuned in. Ratings for the Honda Classic were excellent, with NBC getting a 3.2 overnight TV rating.

That was up 78% from the 2011 Honda Classic. It was also the best TV ratings the Honda Classic has had in over a decade. The TV ratings peaked between 5:30 and 5:45 pm with a 4.3 overnight rating.

For a non-major golf tournament, a 3.4 TV rating with a 4.3 peak is a very good rating. If the tournament had run later into the afternoon, the TV ratings would have been even higher.

Tiger Woods Shot Best Final Round of His Career with a 62

The final round 62 that Tiger Woods shot was the best final round score of his career. Rory McIlroy shot a -1 under 69, to win the tournament by two strokes over Tiger Woods, and Tom Gillis, who also shot a final round -1 under of 69. McIlroy finished the tournament at -12 under, while Woods and Gills finished at -10 under.

Rory McIlroy Became #1 Ranked Golfer in the World with Honda Classic Win

With his win, Rory McIlroy took over as the #1 ranked golfer in the world. I'm not sure the Honda Classic would have done such big ratings if Tiger Woods didn't make a great run. Still, golf has been on a real roll so far in 2012.

Phil Mickelson won Pebble Beach playing his final round with Tiger Woods, then Phil lost the Northern Trust Open in a three-way sudden death playoff. Both tournaments drew more viewers than they have in years.

Add in the great TV ratings for the Honda Classic, and you know PGA Tour officials have to be thrilled with the way the tour is going so far in 2012. As big time golf fan, I've really enjoyed the golf so far this season and hope it can continue all year.

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