Nearly a decade ago, Tiger Woods was the world’s greatest golfer and one of its top athletes in terms of winnings, earnings, fame and of course, television viewership.
In the late 1990s, the star had changed golf and by the mid-2000s, was well on his way toward capturing the most major titles ever. Of course, all of that was before the 2009 scandal that alleged an affair, the ensuing car accident and the coverage that revealed numerous infidelities. He disappeared from golf and the public eye. Injuries also took their toll. The one-time “Tiger Effect” which had led to ratings boosts and a surge in golf popularity at the height of Woods’s career was a thing of the past.
Until this past weekend…
Following a difficult first round at the PGA Championship (August 9-12), Woods spent the final three rounds surging toward the top of the leaderboard — including his best-ever final round score which nearly led to him securing a 15th career major title. My entire Twitter feed was hooked on Tiger, and it ends up that was the case for many, looking at data from emotion measurement A.I, company Canvs.
Canvs shows that Sunday’s final round generated 56,207 Emotional Reactions (ERs) on Twitter, which was the lion’s share of the 72,000-plus ERs coming out of the entire four-day event on both TNT and CBS. Of those, Woods accounted for around 14%, which was more than eventual champion Brooks Koepka. Woods was third overall in terms of ERs generated for all linear TV airings as well from Thursday, August 9 through Sunday, August 12.
It should come as little surprise that ratings also soared around the event — up 69% year-over-year for CBS. While viewers obviously care about other golfers beyond Woods (Koepka was second in ERs for the PGA Championship, and Rickie Fowler, Gary Woodland and Adam Scott were also discussed quite a bit), it’s Woods that paces the field. Feelings were overwhelmingly positive, too, with over 29% of viewers expressing “love” and nearly 15% sharing they “enjoyed” the action. “Congrats,” “excited” and “crazy” also made up 5% or more of the ERs throughout the PGA Championship.