Match II drew record-breaking TV ratings as golf’s return inches closer

tiger woods hits tee shot during the match ii

The Match II was the most watched golf event in cable television history.

Getty Images

Early reviews of The Match II were stellar as the foursome of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady scraped it around a wet Medalist Golf Club Sunday afternoon.

Now, the charity exhibition match has the numbers to back up the hype.

With an average of 5.8 million viewers across four channels, The Match: Champions for Charity was the most-watched golf event in cable television history, according to Turner Sports. The event, which raised $20 million for Covid-19 relief efforts, was also the No. 1 trending topic on Twitter for the day. More viewers tuned in than did for the finale of ESPN’s buzzy Michael Jordan documentary, The Last Dance.

The 5.8 million average viewers beats out the previous record of 4.9 million set by ESPN’s first round coverage of the Masters in 2010, when Woods made his return to golf months after his scandal.

The broadcast peaked with 6.3 million viewers from 5:45-6 p.m. ET, right around the time Brady holed out for birdie on the 7th hole, silencing commentator Charles Barkley and sending social media into a frenzy.

This was the second weekend in a row with live golf following the TaylorMade Driving Relief skins game at Seminole, which featured Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolff. That NBC Sports broadcast attracted just 2.35 million viewers as guest stars such as Bill Murray and President Donald Trump called into the telecast throughout the event.

The PGA Tour is scheduled to return June 11 at Colonial Country Club for the Charles Schwab Challenge, the first event since the Players Championship was canceled in early March.

generic profile image

Golf.com Editor

Zephyr Melton is an assistant editor for GOLF.com.