AAP Golf

TV ratings soar with golf charity match

By AAP Newswire

Two of the biggest names from the PGA Tour and the NFL proved to be must-see TV when they played alongside each other in a golf charity match on Sunday.

Turner Sports said Sunday's telecast of "The Match: Champions for Charity" attracted an average of 5.8 million viewers across four of its networks.

It was the most-watched golf telecast in cable TV history as Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning scored a one-up victory over Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady at Medalist Golf Club.

The match featured high entertainment with shots and with words, raising $20 million for COVID-19 relief funds.

The previous record was 4.9 million viewers on ESPN at the 2010 Masters, the year Woods returned to golf for the first time since the scandal in his personal life.

The peak was 6.3 million average viewers from 5:45 to 6 p.m. EDT. That was about the time Brady, who had been lampooned on social media for his golf skills, silenced analyst Charles Barkley by holing out from the fairway for birdie.

It was the second straight Sunday of live golf on television after the pandemic shut down the sport on March 13.

The previous week, Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson defeated Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolff at Seminole in an exhibition that NBC Sports said attracted 2.35 million viewers across all formats.

The PGA Tour is set to return in two weeks at Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas, for the Charles Schwab Challenge.