The PGA Tour returned to action from Thursday until Sunday with the Charles Schwab Challenge. This was the first official tournament amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and viewers reacted by tuning in for the action on CBS and the Golf Channel. The result was the Charles Schwab Challenge's most-watched final round in 16 years.
According to Deadline, CBS Sports enjoyed a very successful weekend of golf with increased 50-percent viewership from 2019. The tournament's final round averaged 3.09 million viewers while the national average household rating (2.1) was also up 50 percent. The audience during this final round peaked at 3.88 million viewers and a 2.6 rating. Viewers have craved live sports amid the coronavirus pandemic, and the numbers reflected this fact.
The Charles Schwab Challenge became the first golf tournament since "The Match II: Champions for Charity," a one-off competition featuring Tiger Woods, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Phil Mickelson. This one-day event aired live on TNT, TBS, truTV and HLN, drawing in 5.8 million viewers. Turner Sports said that The Match II was the most-watched golf telecast in the history of cable television.
Neither golf tournament allowed fans to attend, but the cameras provided plenty of access. Viewers of The Match II could listen to Brady talking trash to his fellow golfers, as well as analyst Charles Barkley. They also witnessed the six-time Super Bowl champion rip his pants while bending over.
The high-profile quartet took part in The Match II: Champions for Charity at Medalist Golf Club with the goal of raising money for coronavirus relief. They were successful in the efforts, raising $20 million while providing entertainment for viewers at home. Although the fundraising efforts expanded due to some friendly wagers by other prominent athletes.
Early in the match, professional golfer Brooks Koepka tweeted that he would donate $100,000 through his charitable foundation if the Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB made par on any of the first nine holes. Brady achieved this goal with a 150-foot shot and the subsequent birdie on the seventh hole. Koepka paid out and challenged Brady to repeat this feat for another donation.
Similarly, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson tweeted that he would donate 100,000 meals if any of the golfers could land their tee shot within 12 feet of the 16th hole. Mickelson, Brady and Manning all did so while landing within eight feet. Wilson ultimately donated 300,000 meals in order to pay off his bet.