Greg Norman and LIV Golf's new blow as staggering TV numbers emerge
The breakaway golf group appears to be taking hit after hit.
LIV Golf TV ratings are going from bad to worse after yet another woeful viewership number reported after Saturday's round of competition. The season opener in Mexico at the end of February was the first to be broadcast under LIV's recently struck deal with American network, the CW.
Given the network has not produced a great deal of live sport coverage since it was established in 2006, many considered LIV's choice of broadcaster a curious one. The season started off with a rating of just 0.2 per cent of surveyed households tuning in to the LIV season opener.
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And figures have reportedly dipped even further, with reporter Kevin Van Valkenburg revealing the viewership for the Arizona-based competition on Saturday was just 0.14. This will come as a huge blow to Norman and the LIV Golf group with their aim to take over the sport appearing to be falling short in their second season.
Three weeks ago, LIV Golf's opening event was out-rated by an episode of World's Funniest Animals, which aired on the CW later the same day. At the same time, the Genesis Invitational undoubtedly would have attracted a higher audience than the LIV Mayakoba broadcast thanks to it being the venue for Tiger Woods' first pro outing since the Masters last year.
Numbers for the final day of the event, which saw New Zealand star Danny Lee win a playoff against Carlos Ortiz, Brendan Steele and Louis Oosthuizen, have not been released.
The PGA Tour's the Players Championship tournament also would have garnered a huge audience with Scottie Scheffler running away with the 'fifth major'. The latest numbers will spark concern for the Saudi-backed tournament as they come under more pressure from PGA Golfers regarding its disruption to the sport.
On the same week in February when the PGA Honda Classic took place, LIV Golf showed much lower numbers. The combined weekend viewers on NBC alone was 3.99 million. However the CW network only had 577,000 viewers across the weekend for LIV Golf.
Have an update on LIV Golf ratings for the Tucson event. According to a source, it scored a 0.14 overnight rating in 33 markets from Saturday. https://t.co/cyFNrDBDIj
— Kevin Van Valkenburg (@KVanValkenburg) March 19, 2023
New Zealander Danny Lee wins LIV Golf event
During the weekend event, New Zealand star Lee produced a moment of magic to win his first golf event in nearly eight years. Lee birdied his final two holes for a two-under 69 and then won LIV Golf Tucson on the second hole of a four-man playoff after a stunning 25-foot birdie putt from off the 18th green
The finish marked only the second playoff in LIV Golf since Dustin Johnson won the playoff outside Boston last year. Lee finished in nine-under 275 to enter the playoff with Ortiz (65), Steele (70) and Oosthuizen (70). Oosthuizen bogeyed the par-5 17th to fall one behind, only to birdie the 18th to join the playoff.
Lee nearly squandered a great chance to win on the first playoff hole when he put his approach five feet from the 18th, the first extra hole, pushing it to the right. Mexican Ortiz was eliminated after the first extra hole when he went long off the 18th green, chipped to six feet and missed the par putt.
Going back to the 18th, Lee again looked as though he wasted a good opportunity when his approach from the fairway missed the green to the right, leaving him a tough spot with the pin all the way to the right side of the green.
Both Oosthuizen and Steele missed a chance for birdie when Lee produced a moment of magic off the green to rattle the pin, before the ball disappeared to hand teh New Zealander his first win in nearly eight years.
"I haven't won since 2015. I thought winning just not my thing. Today has changed that," said Lee, who signed with LIV Golf in February when he was world No.267.
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