By Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek
February 17, 2012
The first World Golf Championships event of 2012 returns to The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Dove Mountain, near Tucson. The 32 first round matches begin with Official World Gold Ranking No. 1 Luke Donald looking to defend his title.
While Donald has over 206,000 followers on Twitter, he’s hardly the only reason to tune into the tournament. Also leading the list of the 64 golfers who qualified for the WGC Accenture Match Play Championship is charismatic world No. 3 Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods, playing in the first event after his meltdown at Pebble Beach last Sunday. Woods has won the Accenture three times.
Last year, NBC Sports and Golf Channel generated significant viewership increases for their combined 28 hours of live coverage. Despite Tiger being eliminated on Wednesday, Golf Channel’s three-day average viewership was up 84 percent from 2010, while weekend viewership on NBC rose 71 percent.