Tiger Woods' win at THE PLAYERS helped boost TV ratings to record highs. (Condon/PGA TOUR)
ORLANDO, Fla. -- THE PLAYERS Championship’s coverage on NBC and Golf Channel last week caught the attention of America with record audiences for its tournament coverage and signature programming according to data released Tuesday by The Nielsen Company.
NBC Sports Group’s comprehensive coverage of THE PLAYERS experienced surges in viewership across the board, highlighted by:
· NBC’s final round coverage on Sunday garnering 7.6 million viewers (+59 percent year over year), 5.0 rating, making it the most-watched final round at THE PLAYERS in more than 20 years
· NBC’s third round coverage on Saturday pulling in 3.7 million viewers (+12 percent), 2.6 rating, which was the best since 2009
· Golf Channel’s first round coverage on Thursday posting the most-watched first round in the history of THE PLAYERS with 1.7 million viewers (+54 percent YOY)
Golf Channel posted its most-viewed week ever for THE PLAYERS on record as more than 11.5 million unique viewers (+23 percent YOY) tuned in to Golf Channel during the week. It also was Golf Channel’s most-watched week ever for THE PLAYERS with 212,000 average viewers per minute for 24-hour Total Day (6 a.m.-6 p.m.), which represents a 25 percent increase year-over-year.
Contributing to this success was record numbers for Golf Channel’s news programming and digital content including:
· 96 hours of LIVE FROM THE PLAYERS – 160,000 average viewers (+50 percent YOY)
· Golf Channel’s LIVE FROM THE PLAYERS audience peaked on Sunday with 1.4 million average viewers for both the 15 minutes leading into and out of NBC’s coverage
· Most-watched LIVE FROM THE PLAYERS on Sunday from 8 AM to 1:30 PM – 679,000 average viewers (+20 percent YOY)
· Most-watched “Prime-time” LIVE FROM with Sunday’s night telecast delivering 646,000 average viewers (+339 percent YOY)
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Here is the ranking of holes after Sunday's final round of THE PLAYERS Championship. Ranked in order from most difficult to easiest.
|Rank (in Rd.4)||Hole||Par||Scoring avg.||Avg. vs. par||Overall rank (scoring avg)|
|1 (most difficult)||18
||0.558 over par||Toughest (4.393)
||0.286 over par||4th toughest (4.191)
||0.273 over par||5th toughest (4.139)
||0.247 over par||9th toughest (3.064)
||0.234 over par||2nd toughest (4.282)
||0.182 over par||10th toughest (4.059)
||0.182 over par||5th toughest (4.139)
||0.182 over par||3rd toughest (3.195)
||0.130 over par||12th toughest (4.020)
||0.078 over par||5th toughest (4.139)
||0.065 over par||10th toughest (4.059)
||0.039 over par||11th toughest (4.036)
||0.000 - even
||13th toughest (3.998)
||0.195 under par||14th toughest (3.868)|
||0.221 under par||15th toughest (4.857)
||0.416 under par||18th toughest (4.593)
||0.455 under par||16th toughest (4.705)
||0.455 under par
||17th toughest (4.630)
Jeff Maggert made one of five birdies at the 18th hole on Sunday at THE PLAYERS.
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Sergio Garcia wasn't the only player who saw his chance to win THE PLAYERS Championship dissolve at the 17th hole on Sunday afternoon.
Jeff Maggert was tied for the lead at 12 under when he stepped to the tee at the 137-yard par 3. The 49-year-old, whose third and last PGA TOUR win came at the 2006 FedEx St. Jude Classic, chose a 9-iron for the dicey and delicate shot to an island green.
He caught the ball thin, though, and the shot came up short, splashing into the pond that claims 10,000 balls of less significance each year.
"When I hit my shot, I was yelling at it to go, because I thought it had a chance to get up on that little ridge there," Maggert recalled. "I didn't really think the wind was blowing hard enough to keep it short of the green. I didn't take a real aggressive line. I was just trying to hit it right on the top and maybe let it take the slope down.
"... It looked like it was close, but close but no cigar."
Maggert, who was playing in his 20th PLAYERS Championship this week, had stepped to the 17th tee 67 times in competition. So he knew what to expect. He knew what could happen, too.
"You just live with it," he said. "You know it's going to be a test of nerves, and you just go up there and try to hit a good shot. At the end of the tournament when things are on the line, it's the ultimate risk-reward. So you've just got to get up there and try to hit a good shot and get out of there with a par."
Maggert didn't, but he rebounded well. Shaking off the double bogey, he hit a brilliant approach to the 18th hole and rolled in a 3-footer for one of just five birdies made there on Sunday. As a result, Maggert ended up in a tie for second -- his best finish of the season and his first top-10 since he tied for fifth at last year's Humana Challenge in partnership with the Clinton Foundation, a span of 37 events.
No one played better on the weekend than the Texan, who shot 8 under for the final two rounds and closed with a 70 on Sunday. He stayed patient throughout the week, and he hopes to build on this success as he heads back to the Lone Star State to play in the HP Byron Nelson Championship.
"I felt like I executed pretty well, and, yeah, just disappointed to come up short," Maggert said. "But it's a funny thing about this game. You put it behind you, you go to next week, and you get up on the first tee on Thursday and you start all over. If you're worried about what happened four days prior, then you're not going to last very long out here.
"You look forward and look to the next shot, the next hole, and the next tournament."
Boo Weekley led the field in driving accuracy and proximity. He finished T48. (Revere/Getty Images)
|THE PLAYERS Championship
|Driving Distance||288.4 (T22)||Louis Oosthuizen (300.6 yards)||T19
|Driving Accuracy||67.86% (T19)||R. Castro, B. Weekley (83.93%)||T19/T48
|Strokes Gained-Putting||.445 (38th)
||Martin Laird (2.049)
|Greens in Regulation||76.39% (T3)||Matt Every (79.17%)
|Proximity to Hole||34'-5" (T24)
||Boo Weekley (30'-8")
|Scrambling||70.59% (6th)||Luke Donald (79.31%)
WEEKLY PERFORMANCE STATS ARCHIVE
Week 2: Sony Open in Hawaii
Week 4: Farmers Insurance Open
Week 5: Waste Management Phoenix Open
Week 7: Northern Trust Open
Week 8: The Honda Classic
Week 9: WGC Cadillac & Puerto Rico Open
Week 12: Shell Houston Open
Week 13: Valero Texas Open
Week 14: The Masters
Week 15: RBC Heritage
Week 16: Zurich Classic of New Orleans
Week 17: Wells Fargo Championship
By Fred Albers, PGATOUR.COM Correspondent
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Tiger Woods was the only one standing at the end and holding his second PLAYERS Championship trophy.
Jack Nicklaus used to make a comparison between major championships and amusement rides. He said he would envision the other players trying to hold on to a carnival carousel. Nicklaus would just hold on tight while other players fell off until he was the only one left. That's what happened on the back nine at TPC Sawgrass. There was a four-way tie for the lead with four holes remaining, and one by one the contenders fell. Jeff Maggert hit into the water on the 17th. David Lingmerth bogeyed the 14th and missed his chances for birdie at both 17 and 18. Sergio held on until splashing two balls at the 17th. It became a battle of attrition. Tiger Woods had his own troubles with a double at the 14th. He did not charge to victory but simply let the others fall off the ride.
Key shot: Golf fans may not remember Tiger Woods' par on the 15th hole but it was a key shot. From 31 feet away, he got up and down from a grass bunker, making an eight-foot putt. Woods was coming off a double bogey on the 14th and another mistake would have been huge. His par save at the 15th hole was a tournament saver.
Draw: Tiger Woods still struggles to hit a draw with his driver. He has trouble with the quick miss to the left and relies on a fairway metal when he needs to work the ball right to left. He hit fairway metal on the 14th and a pop-up hook went into the water. His drive on the 18th was equally intimidating but he drilled that one into the middle of the fairway. There is still work to do on the range for Woods but he ended the week ranked in the top 20 of fairways hit and third in greens in regulation.
Dialed in: Players arrived just as dawn broke at TPC Sawgrass to complete the third round and were faced with tremendously difficult shots. David Lingmerth began with a drive on the 18th. Ryan Palmer with the tee shot on the 17th. There was a flagstick exactly 122 yards away on the range, the same distance at the 17th. Palmer hit several wedges, dialed in his distance and made birdie.
Big bogey: David Lingmerth should take nothing but positives out of this week. The PGA TOUR rookie shared second place and had a chance to win. However, his bogey on the final hole was very profitable for both Jeff Maggert and Kevin Streelman. Instead of sharing third place, they moved into a second place tie. That was a huge bump in money and FedExCup points. Kevin Streelman jumped into third place in the standings and Maggert is 73rd. Lingmerth's bogey cost him some money but it's the middle of May and he has already won enough money to be exempt next season, plus he's 31st in FedExCup points. That is great for a PGA TOUR rookie.
Splash: It's hard to find a positive for Sergio Garcia. His pitching wedge into the 17th was never close to finding the green. He followed up with another ball into the water and found the lake on the 18th hole as well. The last two mistakes mean little and can be attributed to a lack of concentration following a huge disappointment. Garcia lost his chance to win the tournament after hitting his first shot into the water at 17 and you have to wonder if nerves played a role in the bad shot. Garcia told everyone he did not “have what it takes” to win a major after a disappointing day at the Masters last year. Sunday's final round result will have people questioning him again. To his credit he smiled following the round and did interviews. Sergio attributed his tee ball at the 17th to over-confidence and adrenaline.
Hole locations: There were eight cups cut four paces or fewer from the edge of greens on the front nine. Only the eighth hole was cut in the center of the green. There was also a new final-round hole location on the 18th. Six paces from the front of the green and three yards from the left side. The new location was hoped to create excitement bringing both birdie and water into play. It delivered.
Fred Albers is a course reporter for SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio. For more information on SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio, click here.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- So often Tiger Woods forces his opponents into mistakes.
Sunday at THE PLAYERS Championship wasn’t much different, whether it was Sergio Garcia hitting into the water on the 17th hole, or David Lingmerth needing birdie on the 18th and coming away with a bogey.
“I shot even par, which is not a bad score out there, but I feel like I could have done a lot better,” Lingmerth said. “That's why that's leaving a little sour taste right now. I felt like I left a lot of shots out there.”
A three-putt from 45 feet on No. 8, another one from 30 feet on No. 10, specifically. They put Lingmerth into rally mode, and catching Woods has proved to be near impossible for the last 15-plus years. He’s the Mariano Rivera of golf, having converted 53 of 57 opportunities when he has at least a share of the lead after 54 holes.
Three birdies on the back nine gave the Little Swede That Could a chance, though, as he pulled to within one of Woods with two holes to play.
After watching Sergio Garcia dump two shots into the water at the par-3 17th hole, Lingmerth stiffed his tee shot to the traditional front right pin position to inside 8 feet.
Only the 25-year-old rookie making just his 13th career start on the PGA TOUR missed the putt, jamming it through the break.
“I had a good look at it, and I thought it was a right edge putt,” Lingmerth said. “I just pushed it a hair, and left it hanging a little high.”
That meant Lingmerth needed to do what only five players were able to do all day: Make birdie on the 18th.
With water left, Lingmerth left his tee shot out to the right, the ball landing in the rough and leaving him a tough angle to the front left pin.
He again missed right, leaving himself 61 feet from the hole.
Those are things trying to catch Woods can do.
Lingmerth made sure to get his putt to the hole, but it ran 12 feet past. Game over.
“If you would have asked me if I would have taken a 72 before the final round I probably would have tried to do better instead of taking that,” he said. “I really wasn't trying to chase (Tiger) too much. I was trying to do my own thing and I ended up having a chance there towards the end. I was just trying to shoot a good score.”
The good news for Lingmerth is that while his score wasn’t good enough to win, it was good enough to secure his job for next year.
By finishing second, he earned more than $700,000, which combined with the more than $550,000 he’d already banked this season, locks up his card for 2013-14.
“They’re are all positives,” Lingmerth said. “I've never been in that position before. A lot of the big names were up on the leaderboard, so it was fun to contend with those guys, and I felt comfortable out there all day and all week. If I get a chance again, I hope I can take it to another level.”
Tiger Woods won his second PLAYERS Championship on Sunday at TPC Sawgrass. With this victory, Woods ...
• Earns 600 FedExCup points to reach a season total of
2,340. Woods had 2,269 points last year when he was ranked No. 1
entering the Playoffs
• Claims his 78th career PGA TOUR victory at the age of 37 years, 4 months and 12 days in his 286th professional start on TOUR (300th overall)
• Picks up his fourth victory of the 2013 season. Woods has never had four victories by mid-May of any season on TOUR
• Wins for the seventh time in his last 22 starts and for the 16th time in the state of Florida -- most of any state
• Becomes the third consecutive PLAYERS champion to finish at 13-under 275
• Becomes the sixth competitor to win multiple times in the 40-year history of THE PLAYERS
• Completes four rounds at par-or-better at TPC Sawgrass for the first time since 2003
• Has now converted 52 of 56 third-round leads/co-leads into victories in 72-hole PGA TOUR events.
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Tiger Woods survived a double bogey on the back nine to win THE PLAYERS Championship for the second time.
Woods, shooting a 2-under 70, finished at 13 under, two strokes ahead of David Lingmerth, Jeff Maggert and Kevin Streelman.
Tiger's previous PLAYERS win came in 2001. Since then, he posted just one top-10 finish in his next 10 starts at TPC Sawgrass until winning on Sunday.
He becomes the fifth player to win twice at TPC Sawgrass, joining Steve Elkington, Hal Sutton, Fred Couples and Davis Love III. Love was the last player to achieve the feat, winning for the second time in 2003.
Woods, winning for the fourth time in seven starts this year, extended his FedExCup points lead over Brandt Snedeker to 866 points. The win is the 78th of his PGA TOUR career and comes in his 300th start on TOUR. Woods also won tournaments on his 100th and 200th start.
Woods, one of three co-leaders with Lingmerth and Garcia after completing his third round early Sunday morning, won for the 52nd time in 56 starts in which he's been the third round leader or co-leader.
This is also the earliest in a single season that Woods has won four TOUR events. It's the earliest any player has won four events on TOUR since David Duval in 1999.
"Each year I'm tying to get better," Woods said. "So far this year, I'm off to a pretty good start."
Woods was in control of the tournament early on the back nine. He held a two-shot lead going to the 14th tee, but found the water with his drive and suffered a double bogey.
By the time he walked off the 14th green, he was tied with Sergio Garcia, David Lingmerth and Jeff Maggert for the lead at 12 under.
"Just hit absolutely the worst shot I could possibly hit," Woods said. "But it was the only bad swing I made all day. I told myself I could still win the tournament."
Maggert fell off the pace with a double bogey at the 17th when he found the water. Lingmerth, the PGA TOUR rookie who lives in nearby Jacksonville Beach, suffered a bogey at the 14th.
That left Woods tied with Garcia at 13 under after Garcia birdied the par-5 16th.
But Garcia hit two shots in the water at the 17th island hole, resulting in a quadruple bogey. He also double bogeyed the 18th after finding the water.
Five years ago, Garcia won THE PLAYERS in a playoff at the 17th hole against Paul Goydos.
"That hole has been good to me for the most part," Woods said. "Today it wasn't. That's the way it is. That's the kind of hole it is. You've got to love it for what it is."
Lingmerth, trailing by one, had the last shot to force a playoff after a terrific tee shot at the 17th. But he failed to convert the 7-foot, 7-inch putt and eventually bogeyed the 18th.
"I really don't feel like I put the pedal to the metal today," Lingmerth said. "I felt like I left a lot of shots out there. I shot even par, which is not a bad score out there, but I feel like I could have done a lot better, and that's why that's leaving a little sour taste right now."
Tiger credited caddie Joe LaCava for playing a big part of the win. LaCava caddied for Couples in both of his PLAYERS wins.
"He did a helluva job keeping me focused," Woods said.
Tiger Woods carded a 2-under 70 in the final round to win THE PLAYERS Championship on Sunday at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
It is Woods' second win at THE PLAYERS, his fourth of 2013 and the 78th of his career.
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