TV ratings get massive Tiger Woods bump at Valspar Championship

TV ratings get massive Tiger Woods bump at Valspar Championship

TV ratings get massive Tiger Woods bump at Valspar Championship

Spain's Sergio Garcia put in an encouraging performance as he warms up for the defense of his Masters title, firing a final round 65 to finish alone in fourth on eight-under 276.

Playing nine groups in front of the leaders, Casey got in early to post the clubhouse lead at 10-under-par with a joint lowest round of the week, and had to wait an agonising 80 minutes to find out if anyone would catch him.

Patrick Reed will finish short by 1.

After Reed, there was just one solitary, but familiar name that could possibly challenge Casey's title hopes.

Tiger Woods was one shot away from a chance to win, and the PGA Tour had its largest television audience in five years.

As a massive gallery - energised by Woods' mere presence in a tournament he had never played, then whipped to the point of frenzy by his late charge - pressed in around the green, he studied his long birdie putt from all angles, took his putter back, and unforgivably left it almost three feet short.

"[Woods] made it look easy for such a long time, and it's not", Casey said. "I actually thought he was going to win today before the round started". He laid well back off the 18th tee and hit his approach from 185 yards to just inside 40 feet.

"To have played in the PGA Championship as many times as I have, and to have won it, and then having taken a little bit of a break, means I have so many wonderful memories. I'm glad it's this way".

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Casey, for his part, was elated with his win.

Casey has put himself up for Ryder Cup selection, having previously played exclusively on the PGA Tour, and what a wonderful addition he would be when Europe face the United States in France in September. "I'm so happy for it", Casey said, noting that winning any tournament on one of the world's elite tours is just hard.

"Unfortunately I just didn't quite feel as sharp as I needed to with my irons, played a little conservative because of it", Woods told reporters at Innisbrook Resort in Palm Harbor.

On Sunday, the legendary golfer did just that. "It's definitely an experience I'll look back on in the future, and something I'll get a lot of confidence from". "Your last win is always your best one because it's the freshest".

Woods returned to competitive golf at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas where he finished at 8 under tied for 9th.

Next up for Woods is the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill next week, which he hasn't played since winning five years ago. "A couple of putts [falling] here or there, and it would have been a different story".

There's no denying that Woods has handed the game a massive boost by getting himself back in the mix just a handful of events into his latest comeback from back surgery and what a mouth-watering prospect is lying ahead at Augusta National. "I've had some great memories there".

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