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Thanks to Tiger Woods, Honda Classic ties best TV mark of tour season

February 26, 2018
The Honda Classic - Round Three

David Cannon

If he contends, they will come.

Despite some blowback regarding the amount of coverage he's entitled to, it's clear that Tiger Woods continues to resonate with the public. Thanks to an admirable performance from Woods, CBS reported a 38 percent audience increase over last year's tournament, which was broadcast on NBC and infamously featured Johnny Miller criticizing Rickie Fowler's four-shot win.

CBS pulled in 2.9 overnight rating, which tied for the best TV mark of the season. The other 2.9? The Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, which featured Woods' first official cut since 2015.

"He may be the biggest name in sports, matched only by Michael Jordan and Muhammad Ali," Neal H. Pilson, former president of CBS Sports and president of Pilson Communications, Inc., told Golf Digest after the Famers Insurance Open. "Does he still move the needle? The answer is yes.

"When he plays, the networks are going to give him coverage. And the fact is the public wants to see that coverage."

Woods has not announced his next scheduled appearance. He's currently not eligible for this week's WGC-Mexico Championship or the WGC-Match Play, and has not historically played at the Houston Open. Woods could tee it up in the Valspar Championship (March 8-11); in all likelihood, the Arnold Palmer Invitational, three weeks before the Masters, will be his final Masters tune-up. Woods has won the Bay Hill event eight times in his career.