Quick… tell me who played in the 2005, 2006 or 2007 Accenture Match Play Championship finals. Better yet, tell me who won them. Chances are, if Tiger Woods wasn’t playing in them not many people will remember.
The 2008 Match Play ratings were 67 percent higher than last year’s (Henrik Stenson won last year). In fact, the 2008 ratings were the highest since 2004 when, you guessed it, Tiger Woods defeated Davis Love III.
There’s no doubt tournament and TV sponsors need Tiger to be in the field and better yet, winning.
Guess what. That trickles down to the tiny little “golf blogosphere” as well. Golf web traffic is always higher when Tiger is playing
Which grand slam final is more likely to be followed, one involving Roger Federer or the one without him(however infrequent that maybe). Quite clearly when these magicians are at work most people would hate to give up an opportunity to be spellbound in awe of their talent and that quite clearly explains why you get higher television ratings when guys of their caliber are playing.
While it is true each time these guys are on play in translates to higher viewership, but I am interested in the aftermath of a scenario when they are beaten. Imagine Tiger going into the final round of a tournament with a few strokes advantage and his playing partner beats him on the home run or for that matter, Federer beaten in a final of a tournament.
I am guessing that is likely to create a lot more buzz and a lot more people would try and figure just who the hell managed to outsmart the great ones.
I suspect that might well have happened if Tiger had to pack his bags at the end of the first round. But one thing is for sure if these guys are in the field automatically there is heightened interest.