Published: Tue, August 14, 2018
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

‘Tiger Effect’ boosts TV ratings at PGA Championship

‘Tiger Effect’ boosts TV ratings at PGA Championship

The St. Louis fans waited 17 years to see Woods - he last was at Bellerive when the September 11 terrorist attacks canceled a World Golf Championship - and he delivered a performance that took golf back in time.

His runner-up finish, behind Brooks Koepka who is now No 2 in the world, was his second top 10 in a major this year and makes him a certainty to be a captain's pick for the Ryder Cup in October.

"His dad was a decent player in his local club - Brooks ended his dad's five year winning stretch at the local golf club - when he was 13, he became the champion there - so he was good from early on". It's a long story, but after lobbying hard to get Koepka on the cover of SI following his breakthrough at Erin Hills, I brokered another cover story for him, for GOLF Magazine, focusing on his and Johnson's tight relationship with their shared trainer, Joey Diovisalvi.

Finishing two shots behind overall victor Brooks Koepka is not the fairy tale that most spectators in St Louis would have hoped for, but it is a huge step in the right direction for the 14-time major victor and former world number one. But now that Tiger is back, the ratings have followed suit. There was a sense that history might be on the table, with Woods chasing a major title for the first time in a decade, and their chips were pushed all in.

"I can't tell you if it's the biggest, but it's the biggest I've ever seen", said Levy.

"I feel like I'm playing really well, the best I have in a while", he said. "I had a really good chance to win this tournament". He is just the fifth player to claim the US Open and US PGA in the same season.

However, Koepka was immune to the pressure and calmly went about his business.

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"Other than me, my team, everybody was rooting for Tiger", said Koepka. "It kind of pushes you to step up your game". I don't really know what happened the last five holes or so.

"I didn't know what my schedule would be", an elated Woods said of his outlook at the start of this season. "You could hear the roars when we were on 10 and 11, and then you could kind of hear it trickle down as they changed the leaderboards all the way through".

"It's pretty obvious when Tiger makes a birdie". I think that's always great to have the support of fans and as many people as you can behind you, and I try to do that.

Twitter was buzzing throughout Sunday's round, in which Tiger's score of 64 -the lowest of his career on a Sunday in a major- was not enough to overcome Brooks Koepka, who entered the day with a four-stroke lead.

Following his oh-so-close sixth place at the Open last month, Tiger's second place yesterday was his best performance in a major championship since he was caught and passed by Y.E Yang at Hazeltine in the US PGA nine years ago.

There is little doubt that Koepka is now a major force on the circuit, and a potential world number one in the making.

"He's 28 years old now and I remember being at an Irish Open 2012/13 territory and just chatting to one of the officials there, one of the media guys, and he said "Do you ever watch Challenge Tour?' and I said "No, god no".

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