RBC Canadian Open Draws Highest Viewing Figures Since Tiger Wood's Victory In 2000

Nick Taylor ended the 69-year wait for a home winner with a play-off victory over Tommy Fleetwood

Nick Taylor of Canada celebrates with his caddie after making an eagle putt on the 4th playoff hole to win the RBC Canadian Open
Nick Taylor's win recorded the highest viewing figures since Tiger Woods' victory in 2000
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The dramatic and historic ending to the Canadian Open reportedly drew record-breaking numbers with Sunday’s telecast the most-watched final round of the tournament in over 20 years. 

Nick Taylor’s 72-foot putt on the fourth play-off hole saw him defeat England’s Tommy Fleetwood to end the 69-year wait for a home winner, with a frenzied Toronto crowd present at Oakdale Golf & Country Club.

Having broken the course record with a nine-under-par 63 on Saturday, the Canadian birdied his final two holes to set the clubhouse lead, before getting the better of Fleetwood in a nervy back-and-forth play-off.

Taylor’s performance created an impassioned home crowd on the course but the drama over the final day also translated to viewing figures, with CBS reporting that their coverage of the final round peaked at 6.767 million viewers, with 3.304M viewers watching the 35-year-old's winning moment.

Such figures mark the highest final-round numbers for that tournament since 2000, when Tiger Woods’ incredible bunker shot on the 18th secured a one-shot victory over New Zealand’s Grant Waite.

Sunday’s numbers were also up 19 per cent from last year’s 2.78m, when Rory McIlroy secured his second successive Canadian Open victory with an eight-under-par final round 62. 

With these figures, the Canadian Open was the most-watched sports programme on Sunday and undoubtedly the most-watched regular PGA Tour event of the season, outside of the elevated events and the Majors which are bolstered by a star-studded field.

Such viewing figures will provide huge encouragement for the PGA Tour, especially given the event's non-elevated status and the fact that the field consisted of just 11 of the top 50 players in the world. 

In addition, it comes just three weeks after CBS recorded its lowest PGA Championship viewing figures in 15 years, with the final round seeing a 14 per cent drop in its Sunday viewership compared to Justin Thomas’ 2022 victory at Southern Hills. 

With the US Open at Los Angeles Country Club fast approaching, TV execs will no doubt be hoping that the drama in Canada, alongside the return of LIV golfers to a stacked 156-man field, will ensure good viewing figures for the week to come. 

Ben Fleming

Ben joined Golf Monthly having completed his NCTJ in multimedia sports journalism at News Associates, London. He is now a freelance journalist who also works for The Independent, Metro, UEFA and Stats Perform.