The Tiger Effect: 2018 British Open ties highest final-round overnight rating since 2000

The numbers are in, and the numbers don’t lie: The Tiger Woods Effect is very, very real.

The final round of the British Open posted an overnight rating of 5.0. That number ties Woods’ 2006 win at Royal Liverpool for the highest British Open final round rating since Woods completed his career Grand Slam at St. Andrews in 2000.

Woods finished tied for sixth

Even though Woods faded after briefly grabbing the solo lead — and Francesco Molinari surged to his first Major victory — the fact that Woods was even in contention was a major win for NBC and for fans across the globe. This was Woods’ first top-10 at a major since he tied for sixth at the 2013 British Open.

Not only did this British Open do well compared to past iterations of the tournament — viewership was up 38 percent from last year — it also did well compared to the other majors. Excluding Masters coverage, which always blows the other three majors away, this was the highest-rated final round since the 2015 PGA Championship. It was also the most-streamed golf event ever for NBC Sports digital platforms.

Of course, it also didn’t hurt that it was a mostly thrilling final round overall. Big names such as Woods, Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose headlined the first page of leaderboard throughout the day. Even though Molinari ended up winning by two shots, eight players finished within three strokes of him.

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Scenes from the 2018 British Open
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Scenes from the 2018 British Open
CARNOUSTIE, SCOTLAND - JULY 19: Tiger Woods of the United States walks down the 17th hole during the first round of the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Club on July 19, 2018 in Carnoustie, Scotland. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
US golfer Dustin Johnson lines up a putt on the 17th green on day one of The 147th Open golf Championship at Carnoustie, Scotland on July 19, 2018. (Photo by Andy BUCHANAN / AFP) (Photo credit should read ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP/Getty Images)
CARNOUSTIE, SCOTLAND - JULY 19: Hideki Matsuyama of Japan plays his shot from the 13th tee during the first round of the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Club on July 19, 2018 in Carnoustie, Scotland. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
CARNOUSTIE, SCOTLAND - JULY 19: Tom Lehman of the United States chips in from the side of the 17th green during round one of the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Club on July 19, 2018 in Carnoustie, Scotland. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/R&A/R&A via Getty Images)
Sweden's Henrik Stenson reacts to his iron shot on the 17th tee during his first round on day one of The 147th Open golf Championship at Carnoustie, Scotland on July 19, 2018. (Photo by Andy BUCHANAN / AFP) (Photo credit should read ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP/Getty Images)
CARNOUSTIE, SCOTLAND - JULY 19: Tiger Woods of the United States plays his shot from the 13th tee during the first round of the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Club on July 19, 2018 in Carnoustie, Scotland. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
ANGUS, SCOTLAND - JULY 19: Fans watch Russell Knox of Scotland hitting a tee shot on the fourth hole during the first round of the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Club on July 19, 2018 in Angus, Scotland. (Photo by Stan Badz/R&A/R&A/PGA TOUR via Getty Images)
CARNOUSTIE, SCOTLAND - JULY 19: Tiger Woods of the United States plays his second shot on 15th during round one of the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Club on July 19, 2018 in Carnoustie, Scotland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/R&A/R&A via Getty Images)
CARNOUSTIE, SCOTLAND - JULY 19: Jordan Spieth of the United States plays his second shot on the 15th hole during the first round of the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Club on July 19, 2018 in Carnoustie, Scotland. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
US golfer Kevin Kisner (L) and US golfer Zach Johnson mark their balls on the 17th green during their third rounds on day 3 of The 147th Open golf Championship at Carnoustie, Scotland on July 21, 2018. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP) (Photo credit should read GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images)
CARNOUSTIE, SCOTLAND - JULY 21: Jordan Spieth of the United States plays his second shot on the 18th hole during the third round of the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Club on July 21, 2018 in Carnoustie, Scotland. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
CARNOUSTIE, SCOTLAND - JULY 22: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland reacts to his eagle putt on the 14th hole green during the final round of the Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Club on July 22, 2018 in Carnoustie, Scotland. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
CARNOUSTIE, SCOTLAND - JULY 20: Tiger Woods of the United States plays his second shot on the 2nd hole during round two of the Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Club on July 20, 2018 in Carnoustie, Scotland. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/R&A/R&A via Getty Images)
CARNOUSTIE, SCOTLAND - JULY 22: Tiger Woods of the United States plays his shot from the third tee during the final round of the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Club on July 22, 2018 in Carnoustie, Scotland. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
CARNOUSTIE, SCOTLAND - JULY 18: Tiger Woods of the United States tosses his ball in the air on the driving range during previews to the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Club on July 18, 2018 in Carnoustie, Scotland. (Photo by Warren Little/R&A/R&A via Getty Images)
CARNOUSTIE, SCOTLAND - JULY 19: Tiger Woods of the United States hits a bunker shot on the 14th hole during the first round of the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Club on July 19, 2018 in Carnoustie, Scotland. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
CARNOUSTIE, SCOTLAND - JULY 19: Hideki Matsuyama of Japan drops his club after a shot on the sixth hole during the first round of the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Club on July 19, 2018 in Carnoustie, Scotland. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)
CARNOUSTIE, SCOTLAND - JULY 19: Tiger Woods of the United States plays a shot on the tenth hole during the first round of the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Club on July 19, 2018 in Carnoustie, Scotland. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
CARNOUSTIE, SCOTLAND - JULY 19: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays out a bunker on the 1st fairway during round one of the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Club on July 19, 2018 in Carnoustie, Scotland. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/R&A/R&A via Getty Images)
CARNOUSTIE, SCOTLAND - JULY 17: Dustin Johnson of the United States tees off during previews to the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Club on July 17, 2018 in Carnoustie, Scotland. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
GULLANE, SCOTLAND - JULY 14: Jens Dantorp of Sweden takes his tee shot on hole eighteen during day three of the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open at Gullane Golf Course on July 14, 2018 in Gullane, Scotland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
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Woods continues to help golf ratings

The fact that Woods, 42, appears to be healthy and playing good golf again is a huge win for the sport in general. The Open Championship proved once again that Woods drives ratings and amps up general excitement, as Jay Busbee wrote Sunday.

A quick sample from this year alone:

The Farmers Insurance Open in January, where Woods finished T23, saw increases of 53 percent and 38 percent on its Saturday and Sunday numbers, with Sunday bringing the tournament’s highest ratings in five years.

The Valspar Championship in March, where Woods finished in a tie for second, was the highest-rated non-Masters event since the 2014 PGA Championship – higher than any U.S. Open or British Open in the Spieth/JT/DJ Era – and the highest for a non-major PGA Tour event since the 2013 Players (which Woods won).

The Arnold Palmer Championship, also in March, saw a bounce of 136 percent on Sunday over the Tiger-less tournament in 2017. Woods finished in a tie for fifth place.

Woods has the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and the PGA Championship up next

With his impressive weekend at Carnoustie, Woods moved all the way up to 50th in the world. That means he qualifies for the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational, which starts August 2. Considering he started the year ranked 656th in the world, qualifying for the invitational is a big achievement. Woods has won the event at Firestone Country Club eight times.

Assuming he’s healthy, Woods will also compete at the year’s final major, the PGA Championship, at Bellerive Country Club the following week.

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