When Tiger Woods called it quits halfway through 2008, television executives blanched. Woods is the Oprah of golf. When he plays, ratings are big; when he wins, they're huge; and when he's absent, well, you're probably watching something else.
Look no further than the Tiger-less 2008 British Open and PGA Championship. The British had its smallest audience in 17 years and the PGA was the least-watched major in the 36 years that Nielsen has tracked ratings. Here's a look at the ratings for each of the 48 majors since 1997, Woods' first full season as a professional. (Rating points represent the percentage of U.S. households that tuned in.)