Tiger Woods' Battle with Brooks Koepka Increases Ratings 69% at PGA Championship

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistAugust 13, 2018

Tiger Woods walks off the 17th green during the final round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at Bellerive Country Club, Sunday, Aug. 12, 2018, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

Tiger Woods remains the king of golf ratings.

With Woods in contention Sunday at the PGA Championship, chasing eventual winner Brooks Koepka, the event saw a 69 percent increase in ratings from last year, according to CBS Sports:

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CBS Sports’ Final Round @PGAChampionship Coverage Scores Big: https://t.co/vWLrtTWqm4 https://t.co/QGVAJRNUOz

The top five markets for CBS' coverage were as follows:

1. St. Louis: 11.5 rating/24 share
2. Fort Myers: 11.2/22
3. Kansas City: 10.4/22
4. Tampa/St. Petersburg: 9.8/21
T5. Dayton: 9.5/19
T5. West Palm Beach: 9.5/18

Woods was superb Sunday, shooting a six-under 64 that propelled him to second place for the tournament. But he couldn't catch Koepka, who steadily shot a four-under 66 to maintain a two-stroke cushion and win his third major since June 2017 (he has won the past two U.S. Opens). 

The intrigue surrounding the final round was built around Woods and whether he could play himself into contention for his first major title since 2008 and his first win overall since 2013. But the attention may be shifting toward the 28-year-old Koepka, who has won three of the past seven majors.

While players like Woods, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy often receive much of the fanfare, none has won a major since Spieth won the British Open in 2017.

Without question, Woods' comeback from a number of back surgeries remains the biggest story in golf. In his prime, Woods was the biggest superstar the sport has ever seen. It's not surprising that his comeback engenders so much interest, especially considering that he's playing legitimately great golf at the moment: 

CBS Sports @CBSSports

ONE SHOT BACK https://t.co/gianMwxF5t

CBS Sports @CBSSports

Useful. https://t.co/7zCtBcnK2F

CBS Sports @CBSSports

"What else would you expect?!" He may come up short, but the roar returned for Tiger Woods on Sunday. https://t.co/vspx2sYWZm

It all set up a fascinating final round Sunday. Golf's biggest storyline, Woods, was nipping at the heels of Koepka, who has been the best player in majors over the past 14 months.

In the end, Woods couldn't ascend from storyline to champion once more. But there was amazing drama in watching him come tantalizingly close.