Phil Mickelson smiles with the Wanamaker Trophy after his two-stroke victory in the final round of the PGA Championship on the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort on May 23, 2021 in Kiawah Island, South Carolina.
Keyur Khamar | PGA TOUR | Getty Images
More than six million people watched Phil Mickelson win the 103rd PGA Championship on Sunday when he was the oldest player to win a major event. It was the most watched round for CBS Sports in three years.
Mickelson, 50, won his sixth major championship, beating two-time PGA championship winners Brooks Koepka and Louis Oosthuizen – both golfers finished second. According to ViacomCBS, the final round reached an average of 6.58 million viewers during coverage on Sunday afternoon. The round peaked between 7 p.m. EDT and 7.15 p.m. EDT with around 13 million viewers. ESPN aired most of the 2021 PGA Championship, including the Sunday morning game.
By comparison, the final round of the 2020 event reached an average of 5.1 million viewers and peaked at 6.8 million viewers according to Sports Media Watch. ESPN coverage averaged 1.6 million. The report found that the 2019 PGA Championship finals also drew around 5 million viewers. That’s a decrease from 8.4 million in 2018 when Tiger Woods finished second.
ESPN said it had an average of 1.17 million viewers in the first round on Thursday, an 18% increase over the first round in 2019. Due to the pandemic, the network has not compared this to the 2020 event that took place last August.
It was Mickelson’s 45th PGA Tour win, and it won $ 2.1 million. Mickelson has made over $ 94 million in 644 events played, followed by Woods, who has made around $ 120 million in his career. Mickelson replaced legendary golfer Julius Boros as the oldest player to win a major in the sport.
The PGA Championship has aired on CBS since 1991 and moved from Turner Sports to ESPN last year under an 11-year media rights deal that was signed in 2018.