McIlroy's victory yesterday matches ESPN's ratings from the '10 British Open
Rory McIlroy's two-shot win over Rickie Fowler and Sergio Garcia at the British Open yesterday earned ESPN a 2.6 overnight from 8:00am-2:00pm ET. The 2.6 overnight rating for McIlroy’s third career major win is down 28% from a 3.6 rating last year for Phil Mickelson’s three-shot, come-from-behind win over Henrik Stenson. It also matches ESPN's figure in '10 for Louis Oosthuizen's seven-stroke win, which was the first year the tournament moved exclusively to ESPN from weekend coverage on ABC. McIlroy entered yesterday's round with a six-shot lead. The 2.6 figure remains ESPN's low mark for the British Open final round since the move to cable TV, while the 3.6 last year was the cable net’s best figure. Yesterday's 2.6 overnight also is down 21% from a 3.3 overnight for Ernie Els’ one-shot win over Adam Scott in ’12. Tiger Woods finished 69th in this year’s British Open, tied for sixth last year and tied for third in ’12. Saturday’s third round coverage drew a 1.2 overnight on ESPN, which began earlier than normal due to the threat of inclement weather (5:00-11:15am telecast). Last year's Saturday coverage from 7:00-9:00am drew a 1.2 overnight, while coverage from 9:00am-2:45pm drew a 3.1 rating.