PGA, NFL stars attract nearly 6 million viewers in TV match

Sports
Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods

FILE – In this May 10, 2018, file photo, Phil Mickelson, left, and Tiger Woods shake hands after the first round of the Players Championship golf tournament in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. Woods and Mickelson are ready for a made-for-TV rematch at a time when fans are craving live action. And this time, they’ll have company. Turner Sports says quarterbacks Tom Brady and Peyton Manning will join them for a two-on-two match sometime in May. Missing from the announcement were such details as when and where the match would be played, except that tournament organizers would work with government and health officials to meet safety and health standards. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)

ATLANTA (AP) — Two of the biggest names from the PGA Tour and the NFL proved to be must-see TV.

Turner Sports said the Sunday telecast of “The Match: Champions for Charity” attracted an average of 5.8 million viewers across four of its networks. Turner says it was the most-watched golf telecast in cable TV history.

It said the previous record was 4.9 million viewers on ESPN at the 2010 Masters, the year Tiger Woods returned to golf for the first time since the scandal in his personal life.

Woods and Peyton Manning scored a 1-up victory over Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady at Medalist Golf Club, a match that featured high entertainment with shots and with words, along with raising $20 million for COVID-19 relief funds.

The peak was 6.3 million average viewers from 5:45 to 6 p.m. EDT. That was about the time Brady, who had been lampooned on social media for his golf skills, silenced analyst Charles Barkley by holing out from the fairway for birdie.

It was the second straight Sunday of live golf on television after the pandemic shut down the sport on March 13. The previous week, Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson defeated Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolff at Seminole in an exhibition that NBC Sports said attracted 2.35 million viewers across all formats.

The Champions for Charity match was shown on TNT, TBS, truTV and HLN.

The PGA Tour is set to return in two weeks at Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas, for the Charles Schwab Challenge.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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