Despite Michael Block becoming an international sensation, Brooks Koepka claiming his fifth major title, and rave reviews from Oak Hill’s East Course, the 2023 PGA Championship has an extremely low ranking.
Viewership was down 14% compared to last year’s tournament, which was won by Justin Thomas, according to Sports Media Watch.
These numbers are also a 15-year low for CBS, which has broadcast the PGA Championship every year since 1991.
15 years ago, Padraig Harrington won the 2008 PGA Championship in Oakland Hills, but Tiger Woods did not play because of a knee injury for one season.
Woods also didn’t play this year, as he had surgery on his ankle after the Masters.
But Woods withdrew from the 2023 Masters before Sunday’s finals. Even so, CBS pulled “massive” numbers for its Easter Sunday coverage on Augusta National.
However, the same cannot be said for the second major championship of the year which is quite memorable.
Koepka, perhaps the best golfer of the post-Tiger era, captured his third PGA Championship.
Scottie Scheffler, now the world number one, shot a 5-under par 65 on Sunday to finish in second.
Viktor Hovland, the 25-year-old Norwegian, suffered another major heartbreak in the 16th minute, but not before battling for the rest of the afternoon.
Rory McIlroy, perhaps golf’s greatest star of the 21st century outside of Woods and Phil Mickelson, produced some of the early fireworks that lit up the Rochester crowd. Ultimately, however, McIlroy was unable to get the driver to cooperate, as the Northern Irishman finished seventh.
And Oak Hill’s 15th produced the best moment of the year, with Block dunking the hole-in-one, sending the entire course into a frenzy.
Despite this incredible storyline, CBS took a significant loss Sunday.
Rochester, NY has the 77th largest television market in the nation, but the size of the tournament hosting city has little to do with ratings.
CBS hopes its viewers bounce back when the 2024 PGA Championship returns to Valhalla in Louisville, Kentucky.