The compelling weekend of the US Open at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts, last week drew viewers, despite internet complaints about the shared broadcast between NBC, USA and Peacock and the quality of the transmissions.
An average of more than 5.4 million views Matthew Fitzpatrickk out of mourning will zalatoris Y scottie scheffler in the last nine holes of the final round, the most for an East Coast US Open since 2013 at Merion and a 65 percent increase since the 2020 Open at Winged Foot.
Plus:Golf Digest Report: PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan briefs players on eight-tournament series to top 50 at FedEx Cup
Plus:Former Touring Pro Dan Olsen Oversees Significant Changes at UNF Golf Complex
The US Open also won the ratings battle for all sporting events on Sunday. It peaked with 9.2 million viewers between 6:30 and 6:45 p.m., when Fitzpatrick, Zalatoris, and Scheffler played the last few holes.
Jacksonville was the third-highest measured market in the country in the final round, with a rating of 4.2 and a share of 15, behind Boston (5.3/19) and West Palm Beach (4.9/17).
Saturday audience, with Rory McIlroy and the defending champion Jon Rahm still in the mix, it had an average audience of 3.6 million on NBC and Peacock, up 16 percent from Winged Foot in 2020.
The US Opens on the West Coast in places like Pebble Beach and Torrey Pines (where Rahm won last year) attract top players because the broadcast windows are in prime time on the East Coast.
Peacock’s coverage was the most-broadcast golf event in NBC sports history, with 244 million minutes. That was a 74 percent increase from last year.
CEO of the USGA mike wan received a buzz on social media about NBC’s large number of commercial breaks and lopsided storytelling. The last hour of the final round was commercial free.
“I’m on it!” Whan tweeted from his personal account in response to the criticism. “We have the best sports production team in the world here with our partner NBC Sports (Olympics, Super Bowl, etc.) and if the amount of interruptions is problematic, we will work with our partner to make it better.”
Women’s PGA Purse Doubles
The money is getting very good in golf across all demographics.
Two weeks after US Women’s Open players played for a $10 million purse that doubled last year’s, the PGA of America, LPGA Tour and sponsor KPMG announced that this week’s KPMG Women’s PGA Championship purse will also doubled from $4.5 million to $9 million.
The winner of the second-oldest women’s major championship in Congress in Potomac, Maryland will win $1.35 million.
“When the PGA of America partnered with KPMG and the LPGA Tour in 2015, we promised to elevate this event by increasing the purse, holding it in venues with a history of hosting major men’s championships, like the Congressional Country Club, and providing coverage of the transmission network. with NBC Sports”, said PGA of the American president jim richerson in a statement. “As part of our shared commitment to support and showcase women’s golf, we have delivered on those promises.”
Congressional is the latest in a series of historic courses that have hosted the Women’s PGA. Since 2014, it has been played at Atlanta Athletic Club, Aronimink, Hazeltine National, Kemper Lakes, Olympia Fields, Sahalee, and Westchester Country Club.
Future sites will be Baltusrol Golf Club next year and Congressional in 2027.
Thomas refuses to fall
Some players might have taken the stance that allowed them to fall near a storm drain on fourth fairway at The Country Club last week.
justin Thomas, In all honesty, I couldn’t do it.
Thomas hit his shot off the side of the drain, but told a rules official it didn’t interfere with his swing. He could have pointed in a different direction and maybe get relief, but he couldn’t bring himself to do it.
Thomas had a slight downhill lie and hit the ball into a bunker. He eventually bogeyed and shot 2-for-72.
“In the spirit of the game, I wasn’t going to throw myself down the drain,” he said after the round. “I felt that I could very easily have told him [the rules official] I was going to do and I got a free pitch, but I didn’t do it.”
In a statement, the USGA explained that “if the obstruction is close enough to distract the player but does not interfere, there is no relief under the Rule” that dictates when relief can be taken.
No. 90 for Keystone State
This week’s US Senior Open on the Old Course at Saucon Valley Country Club is the 90th USGA National Championship to be played in Pennsylvania, the most ever. California is second with 85.
There have been nine US Opens at Oakmont and 17 total, 14 US Amateurs, 14 US Women’s Amateurs and nine US Women’s Opens.
All national championships have been held in Pennsylvania, with the exception of the US Men’s and Women’s Four-Balls, created in 2015.
One of the US Amateurs in Pennsylvania was in 1951 at Saucon Valley, won by the late billy Maxwell, who owned the Hyde Park Golf Club.
Event: Travelers Championship, Thursday-Sunday, TPC River Highlands, Cromwell, Conn.
At stake: $8.3 million purse ($1,494,000 and 500 FedEx Cup points for the winner).
Defending Champion: Harris English.
TV: Golf Channel (Thursday to Friday, from 3 to 6 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, from 1 to 3 p.m.); CBS (Saturday-Sunday, 3-6 pm).
Area players entered: Jonas Blixt, English, Brian Harman, Zach Johnson, Patton Kizzire, Russell Knox, Keith Mitchell, Trey Mullinax, JT Poston, Doc Redman, Sam Ryder, Greyson Sigg, Jared Wolfe.
Notable: English bested Kramer Hickok in an epic eight-hole playoff with a birdie on the final hole. The two played No. 18 six times and No. 17 twice, pairing seven times. … Rory McIlroy, Scottie Scheffler, Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, Brooks Koepka, Patrick Cantlay, Xander Schaufele and Tony Finau lead the field.
Event: KPMG LPGA Women’s PGA Championship, Thursday through Sunday, Congressional Country Club, Potomac, Maryland.
Up for grabs: $9 million purse ($1.35 million for the winner).
Defending Champion: Nelly Korda.
TV: Canal Golf (Thursday-Friday, 11 am-3 pm); NBC (Saturday-Sunday, 1-4 pm).
Area players entered: Jennifer Borocz, Stephanie Connelly-Eiswerth, Chella Choi, Mel Reid.
Notable: Korda beat Lizette Salas by three shots. … Area teaching professionals Connelly-Eiswerth and Borocz are on the course through their game in the LPGA Professionals National Championship.
PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS
Event: US Senior Open, Thursday through Sunday, Saucon Valley Country Club, Old Course, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
Up for grabs: $4 million purse ($720,000 for the winner).
Defending Champion: Jim Furyk.
TV: Peacock (Thursday to Friday, from 2 to 7 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, from 2 to 3 p.m.); NBC (Saturday-Sunday, 3-7 pm).
Area players entered: David Duval, Fred Funk, Furyk, Davis Love III, Vijay Singh.
Notable: Furyk shot 64-66 in the middle rounds to set an Open scoring record and then closed with 71 to hold off Retief Goosen and Mike Weir by three shots.
KORN FERRY TOUR
Event: Live and Work in Maine Open, Thursday through Sunday, Falmouth Country Club, Falmouth, Me.
Up for grabs: $750,000 purse ($135,000 for the winner).
Defending Champion: Chad Ramey.
Area players entered: Chris Baker, Chandler Blanchet, AJ Crouch, Taylor Dickson, Philip Knowles, Carl Yuan.
Notable: Ramey went 68-68 over the weekend and beat Joshua Creel by one punch.