Tiger-Lefty battle sets TV record

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Tiger Woods hasn’t won a full-field event since late 2009, but he still draws TV viewers like no other golfer.

Tiger Woods hasn’t won a full-field event since late 2009, but he still draws TV viewers like no other golfer.

And this especially so when he is in a head-to-head, final-round battle with Phil Mickelson, arguably American golf’s second highest TV draw card when he’s as hot as he was in the final round of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am on Sunday.

Mickelson shot a dazzling 64 to wipe the floor with Woods, who, for the second time in a week, fell away with a tame 75 that left him trailing a triumphant Mickelson by a distant 11 shots in 15th place.

Yet, despite his anti-climatic finish, Woods nevertheless seemed to help Sunday’s final-round coverage by Golf Channel attract the largest TV audience ever to watch a US PGA Tour event in the 17-year history of the network’s association with golf.

Golf Channel’s lead-in coverage (12:30 to 1:30 PM local time) earned a 2.1 household rating and nearly 2.4 million average viewers which topped the same coverage in 2011 by 198% and eclipsed Day 3 coverage of the 2008 WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship (2.1 and 1,871,000), which had held the previous viewership record.

Coverage peaked in Sunday at 2.9 just before the end of the telecast.

Bob Wolfley, in the Journal Sentinel reported that the Pebble Beach event was also the biggest TV draw card on both Saturday and Sunday in the Milwaukee market.

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