Thanks mostly to Phil Mickelson being in contention all day and helped also by a thrilling finish to the Northern Trust Open at Riviera Country Club Sunday during which Mickelson and Keegan Bradley sank dramatic birdie putts on the renowned 18th hole that put them into a three-way playoff with eventual winner Bill Haas, CBS set some ratings records.
According to the network, ratings are up 83% from 2011's final round, which Aaron Baddeley won.
During the final 20 minutes of the broadcast, which would have included the 18th hole and the two playoff holes, the ratings peaked with 11.3 million viewers (from 4 p.m. to 4:21 p.m. PT.) The average viewership during the telecast of 6.2 million viewers was the highest for the tournament since 2003 which had 6.5 million viewers.
CBS coverage of the "West Coast Swing," which includes the Farmers Insurance Open, Waste Management Phoenix Open and AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, is up 24% from a year ago and averaged 3.8 million viewers. At the Farmers Open, Kyle Stanley dramatically triple-bogeyed the 18th hole and then lost in a playoff with Brandt Snededker. A week later in Phoenix, Stanley came from behind to win. And at Pebble Beach, Mickelson came from behind on the final Sunday by shooting a 64 for the win while playing with Tiger Woods in the final round.
This week's match play event near Tucson is on the Golf Channel and, on the weekend, NBC.