The British Open became a perfect storm as play was winding down Sunday afternoon. It was a bogey-fest for Adam Scott as he shot his way out of contention for his first major championship in the last four holes. It was the round of a lifetime for Ernie Els, who capitalized on every opportunity down the stretch and became the unlikely champion. Els might be an older, grizzled veteran, but it's not like Scott is a young up-and-comer who got "deer in headlights" syndrome due to being in contention at his first major. He's been a pro for 12 years and been in contention for big wins in the past. His game simply failed him.
Els wasn't the only big winner, though, the TV ratings had just as good a weekend. Saturday's ratings were up 48% with 3.8 million viewers and Sunday's ratings were up 38% with 4.8 million viewers. That's a great weekend for the PGA Tour and British Open. Opening round coverage was up 71% and 78% for Thursday and Friday, respectively. If you think about the weird time difference we have in the US due to the broadcast being aired live in Great Britain, it makes the numbers even more impressive. Sure, Tiger Woods probably had a good amount to do with it since he was playing good golf, especially through the opening rounds, but you have to give credit to Els' charge and be a little bit happy about Scott's collapse if you are the PGA Tour and British Open. Those occurrences certainly didn't hurt viewership.
I never seem to great when I make picks, but my British Open picks weren't terrible...
1. Rory McIlroy (Finished T60, +8)
2. Tiger Woods (Finished T3, -8)
3. Zach Johnson (Finished T9, E)
4. Graeme McDowell (Finished T5, -2)
5. Sergio Garcia (Finished... CUT)
Well, 3 out of 5 were pretty good anyway. For me, that's what you would consider a great picks weekend.