Heading into this year’s Masters, the enthusiasm for the event actually seemed uncharacteristically off the charts.
Tiger Woods had just won his first PGA Tour contest in two and a half years. Rory McIlroy was coming off his best year as a pro and appeared to be on a quest for redemption after an epic collapse at Augusta in 2011. Phil Mickelson was still Phil Mickelson. And there was an assortment of other intriguing participants -- like eventual winner Bubba Watson and runner-up Louis Oosthuizen -- who were viewed as players to keep an eye on, even if they didn’t seem to have a legitimate shot at winning a green jacket.
When it was all said and done, though, the ratings for the final round of this year’s Masters actually wound up being pretty awful. How awful? Down 22 percent from 10.4 rating that CBS earned a year ago when Charl Schwartzel emerged victorious – the worst since 2004.
As noted by Bloomberg:
Yesterday’s fourth round at Augusta National Golf Club was watched on CBS in an average of 8.1 percent of households in the top 56 U.S. television markets, Jerry Caraccioli, a spokesman for the CBS Corp. (CBS), said in a telephone interview.
While everyone who watched Watson capture his first major championship seemed to enjoy it, the amount of people watching was far less than what anyone originally anticipated. Either because Woods and McIlroy were never in serious contention, or because folks had better things to do on Easter weekend, nobody saw the great moments -- like Oosthuizen's double eagle or Watson’s tremendous hook shot -- that had folks buzzing Monday morning
Although this doesn’t fully kill the theory that a new golf star was born on Sunday, it definitely puts the impact of Watson’s win on mainstream sports fans in a little bit of perspective.