Thursday’s (Aug. 13) first-round coverage of the 2009 PGA Championship on PGA.com set a single-day site record with 1.4 million unique users, announced Turner Sports, which runs the Website on behalf of the PGA of America.
PGA.com, which is featuring three live streams of the action from Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minn., along with an on-demand channel that takes an in-depth look at the course, also delivered the second-highest total of single-day page views in its history, with 53 million. That trails only the second round of the 2007 PGA Championship, which had 57.1 million page views.
PGA.com’s numbers no doubt were boosted by its “Marquee Group” live coverage Thursday morning of a threesome of past PGA champions that included world No. 1 Tiger Woods, who scored a 67 to lead after the first round; defending PGA Champion Padraig Harrington; and Rich Beem, who won the 2002 PGA Championship at Hazeltine.
Along with the “Marquee Group” channel, which featured a threesome with world No. 2 Phil Mickelson on Thursday afternoon, PGA.com is also offering a live streaming simulcast of TNT’s broadcast coverage through Friday afternoon and a live “Par-3” channel covering the action on holes #4, 8, 13 and 17 for all four days. PGA.com will feature two marquee groups during the final two rounds on Saturday and Sunday, marking the first time the site will follow more than one group for four days of the event.
To highlight the interactive nature of the Web coverage, fans voted on a PGA.com poll to pick the second marquee group for Friday morning’s coverage, selecting the threesome of Anthony Kim, Adam Scott and Ryo Ishikawa.
Overall, Turner Sports said its online golf portfolio, which includes PGA.com, Yahoo! and PIP streams, delivered 848,000 live player streams, up 153% from 2008 and 110% from 2007. In total, Turner also delivered a single-day record of 1.1 million live player and on-demand video streams.
TNT said its television coverage of the first round from 2-8 pm posted a 43% increase in overnight metered market ratings over last year, scoring a 1.0 metered market rating vs. 0.7 in 2008. TNT’s coverage continues into the weekend on Saturday (11 am – 2 pm ET) and Sunday (11 am - 2 pm ET).