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Masters’ Saturday Rating Tops 1972

April 10, 2001

NEW YORK (AP) _ People love watching Tiger Woods at the majors.

CBS Sports’ coverage of the Masters on Saturday drew a preliminary national TV rating of 7.8, the highest for the tournament’s third round since 1972.

That rating also is 32 percent higher than last year.

Viewership estimates for the final round _ when Woods held off challenges from David Duval and Phil Mickelson to win his fourth straight major title _ are expected to be released Tuesday.

USA’s telecasts of the first two rounds of the Masters drew ratings about 10 percent higher than 2000.

When all the data is in, CBS is almost certain to end a three-year slide in its two-day Masters ratings.

That would continue the trend during Woods’ waltz through golf’s most prestigious events.

When Woods won last year’s U.S. Open by a record 15 strokes to start his streak in the majors, NBC’s telecast drew the highest Sunday rating for the tournament since 1981. His eight-stroke victory a month later at the British Open _ to complete his career Grand Slam at 24, the youngest player to do so _ helped ABC pull in that tournament’s biggest ratings for a Sunday.

And Woods’ duel into a playoff with Bob May at the PGA Championship drew the event’s highest preliminary TV ratings on record.

The landscape of golf ratings changed dramatically in 1997, of course, when Woods won the Masters by a record 12-shot margin.

The Sunday national rating in 1997 was a 14.1 and the two-day number was 11.2 _ both the highest in the more than 40 years CBS has aired the Masters.

Each rating point represents a little more than 1 million television households.

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