Is Tiger Woods The Most Influential Athlete of All-Time?

Tiger Woods played in this years Masters Tournament, his first major in nearly three years.  Woods, who just made the cut and was well out of the hunt for a 15th major title and first in nearly 11 years, got more air time than most. This year an average of 13 million television viewers watched CBS broadcast of the final round, making it the most-watched final round at the Masters since 2015. Sunday’s broadcast brought in an 8.7 rating and 18 share, a 14% increase over 2017.

ESPN, which carried the first two days of Masters coverage, said in a release that it averaged 3.5 million viewers, an increase of 46% from last year. Tiger Woods had been competitive in tournaments leading up to the Masters with three straight top-12s, which delivered a boost to ratings.

To many fans, Tiger Woods has changed the game of golf.  He has brought the sport to the masses and is undoubtedly the biggest reason golfers today look more like “athletes” than ever before. He’s one of only five golfers to achieve a modern-day grand slam (three times) and the only player in the modern era to win four majors in succession.

Is Tiger really the most dominant athlete of all-time?  There are a few other candidates that could stake claim as the most dominant such as Michael Jordan. The difference between Jordan and Woods is there has not been anyone to replace Tiger as an icon in golf and now that he seems to be competitive again, the entire sport will reap the benefit.

Before Tiger Woods entered the sport of golf, legendary golfers such as Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicholson made their money through golf design.  Today, golfers get rich from playing golf and endorsements, thanks to Tiger. According to Nielsen the first 4 events where Tiger finished in the top 25 increased ratings by 93%.  Golf ball sales are up by 115%. Tiger Woods increases business, tv ratings, merchandise, ticket sales, sponsorship by 100% which is proof he is bigger than the sport.

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