British Open earns highest TV rating since 2000 at St. Andrews

Tiger Woods's surge up the leaderboard provided a ratings boost.
Tiger Woods's surge up the leaderboard provided a ratings boost.
Angus Murray

During Sunday’s final round it felt like British Open fever had swept across the sports world — and the numbers back it up.

NBC Sports and Golf Channel announced that the 2018 British Open earned a 5.0 overnight rating. The last time the same tournament earned a 5.0 was in 2006; that’s the year Woods won his last Open at Royal Liverpool. The last time a British Open got better ratings? That would be 2000, when Woods won at St. Andrews to complete his career Grand Slam.

The highest rating, a 6.74, came from 1-1:30 p.m. ET, which lines up with Woods briefly seizing the lead before losing it with a double at No. 11.

The 5.0 figure was up 38 percent versus 2017, when Jordan Spieth dueled with Matt Kuchar down the stretch at Royal Birkdale. While this year’s winner, Francesco Molinari, is a relative unknown to the casual viewer, the tournament finale featured endless drama. Spieth gave up his lead, Woods chased his first major in a decade and a crowd gathered atop the leaderboard, including a six-way tie on the back nine at one point.

NBC Sports also announced a 67 percent streaming boost from last year, and the week’s 125 million streaming minutes made the 2018 British Open the most-streamed golf event in the network’s history.