Tiger Woods' resurgence helps Valspar Championship draw incredible TV rating

Mar 13, 2018, 06:02
Tiger Woods' resurgence helps Valspar Championship draw incredible TV rating

Tiger Woods tees off on the 5th during the final round of the Valspar Championship golf tournament at Innisbrook Resort - Copperhead Course.

Thousands lined the fairway at every hole Woods played and his galleries dwarfed those for the rest of the field with attendance at a tournament that previous year drew 112,000 soaring to more than 150,000 for his first appearance. No one really cares that Paul Casey won on Sunday. "Today I wasn't quite as sharp as I would like to have had it, but I had a good shot at winning this golf tournament".

"Probably not the most significant win of my career, but it's certainly one of the most satisfying ones, the quality of the golf I played", said Casey, who has also won 13 times on the European Tour. As a massive gallery - energized by Woods's mere presence in a tournament he had never played, then whipped to the point of frenzy by his late Sunday charge - pressed in around the green, Woods studied his long birdie putt from all angles, took his putter back, and unforgivably left it almost three feet short.

"Tiger, this is what you're meant for", shouted one spectator. Woods missed a birdie putt on 18 one that if he hit would have drawn a playoff.

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"The clean-ups on 16, 17 and 18 - fantastic", Casey said.

Just after their rounds, Woods crossed paths with Casey outside the scorer's tent and congratulated the latter on his first win on the PGA Tour since 2009 and his first anywhere since 2014.

On his way off the course, Woods stopped to sign autographs, showing a good deal more patience than he had during his heyday."Wow, what an unbelievable week ... people, atmosphere, adrenaline, back nine on Sunday, man I've missed this", Woods later tweeted.

There was definitely a huge buzz coming out of Innisbrook this weekend.

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NBC Sports drew a record 3.26 overnight rating Saturday for its coverage of the third round. And you can be sure Sunday, with Woods in the hunt, did just as well as better. But the thing is even with a disappointing ending for Woods, the golfer will win again.

"I've been here before a few times, so I felt very comfortable". It suggests that for all that has been made about the sport's exciting young stars like Spieth, McIlroy, Justin Thomas, Rickie Fowler, and Jason Day, none is in the same universe as Tiger Woods in grabbing mainstream attention.

And then came Woods on a Sunday in March, the Masters just a flip of the calendar away, and you were reminded of what had been lost these last few years.

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