Despite Michael Block becoming an international sensation, Brooks Koepka claiming his fifth major title, and Oak Hill’s East Course drawing rave reviews, the 2023 PGA Championship had shockingly low ratings.
Viewership was down 14% compared to last year’s tournament, won by Justin Thomas, per Sports Media Watch.
These numbers also represent a 15-year low for CBS, which has broadcasted the PGA Championship every year since 1991.
15 years ago, Padraig Harrington won the 2008 PGA Championship at Oakland Hills, but Tiger Woods did not play in it due to his season-long knee injury.
Woods did not play this year either, as he had surgery on his ankle following the Masters.
But Woods withdrew from the 2023 Masters before Sunday’s final round. Even then, CBS drew “massive” numbers for its Easter Sunday coverage at Augusta National.
Yet, the same cannot be said for this year’s second major championship, which was quite memorable.
Koepka, perhaps the best golfer of the post-Tiger era, claimed his third PGA Championship.
Scottie Scheffler, now the number-one ranked player in the world, shot a 5-under par 65 on Sunday to finish tied for second.
Viktor Hovland, the 25-year-old Norwegian, suffered another major heartbreak on 16, but not before being in contention all afternoon.
Rory McIlroy, maybe the biggest golfing star of the 21st century outside of Woods and Phil Mickelson, produced some early fireworks that ignited the Rochester crowd. In the end, however, McIlroy could not get his driver to cooperate, as the Northern Irishman finished tied for seventh.
And Oak Hill’s 15th hole produced the moment of the year, with Block dunking in a hole-in-one, which sent the entire course into a frenzy.
ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED???pic.twitter.com/opWFzahJCJ— Playing Through (@_PlayingThrough) May 21, 2023
Despite these tremendous storylines, CBS suffered a significant loss on Sunday.
Rochester, NY has the country’s 77th largest television market, but the size of a tournament’s host city has nothing to do with the ratings.
CBS will hope its viewership bounces back when the 2024 PGA Championship returns to Valhalla in Louisville, Kentucky.