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19th Hole

Bryson vs Brooks fails to attract TV viewers but total ratings up on previous Thanksgiving Match



Despite the public rows and insults, the ‘cartoon’ bravado, Instagram posts and supposed hate, television viewers were simply not interested in tuning in to the recent ‘grudge’ match between Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka.

As reported by Bunkered, the 12-hole matchplay that mimicked the 12 rounds of a boxing match, had Phil Mickelson as a star commentator and was plugged to death by TNT, but still less than 635,000 viewers tuned in, a disappointing figure given some previous episodes of the feature.

The idea became a ‘must’ watch when the inaugural episode featured Tiger Woods and Mickelson in November 2018, whilst each of the following three episodes have also received viewing figures of over 1 million.

At its height, The Match 2 was seen by 5.8million viewers, although that particular game was arranged in May 2020, the height of the COVID pandemic.

Whilst viewers were starved of almost any live sporting action at the time, it remains that a friendly jolly-up between Tiger and Peyton Manning, Phil and Tom Brady still saw nearly 10 times the viewers of a much more hyped game.

The Match 3 (July 2021) had a final figure of around 1.25 million and the recent final round of the CJ Cup, a run-of-the-mill PGA Tour event, also saw a higher Nielsen rating, the figure used to assess television size and composition.

However, as The Match was simulcast across TNT, TBS, truTV and HLN, per Turner Sports, viewership was up 13% (1.2 million viewers) when compared to the previous year’s Thanksgiving event, while it delivered an audience roughly 10 years younger than the average golf audience.

In addition, The Match V raised more than $33 million in support of various charities and initiatives and has generated more than 17 million meal donations through Feeding America, which is undoubtedly a major success.

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  1. Brandon

    Dec 1, 2021 at 9:56 pm

    Not much going on personality-wise with those guys. Phil and Barkley were the only entertainment.

  2. Mark Gonzales

    Dec 1, 2021 at 9:40 pm

    Woods and chambue would be a great game and a large turn out and great for golf.

  3. CrashTestDummy

    Dec 1, 2021 at 7:13 pm

    TV is very fractured now. There are dozens of streaming and cable service options now. More competition is good, but not all services have all the networks covered. One network picks up a program, but maybe only viewable on a few streaming or cable services. Ratings are going to be diluted.

  4. Paul Runyan

    Dec 1, 2021 at 5:58 pm

    What a waste of time!

    The feigned intelligence or DeChambeau is wearing a little thin.

    And Phil’s assessment and talking over everyone during the match was rude and self aggrandizing to say the least!

    The man is an Ass!

  5. reeder

    Dec 1, 2021 at 2:22 pm

    635,000 viewers is a surprise to me. I thought that it would be much less than that. Who really takes these two guys and their comments regarding each other seriously. Personally, I do not have any interest in their “grudge” against each other or even their golf game. Seriously over-hyped!!

  6. Euan Hardman

    Dec 1, 2021 at 11:30 am

    No surprise there then.
    Miserable Guy v Musclebound Geek was never going to be good box office.

    • andyc

      Dec 2, 2021 at 1:44 pm

      Miserable Musclebound Guy vs. Musclebound Miserable Geek might be more accurate. These guys are as much alike as they are different and the casual fan probably can’t even tell them apart at first glance. Neither is a great talking-head personality and they didn’t even try to play up the bad blood during the match

  7. ericsokp

    Dec 1, 2021 at 11:29 am

    Glad to know that I’m not the only one completely uninterested in these two clowns and their petty little “feud”. What I would like to see come back on Thanksgiving TV would be The Skins Game!

  8. Al Wood

    Dec 1, 2021 at 11:29 am

    Part of it could be the channel it was on. There wasn’t much information out on where to watch it. When I first heard about it I went to the Golf Channel to search the time and date so I could record it but saw it wasn’t on there, so went to the typical, 2, 4, 7, channels and couldn’t find it. Finally found it on TNT. Maybe bad on my part but if you want people to watch it put some better info out there.

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19th Hole

How Mickelson gambled during tournaments with announcer who was throwing ‘wadded-up twenties out of tower’



We will not see defending PGA champion Phil Mickelson at Southern Hills this week but his name is still creating headlines just a day before the first tee time.

It cannot be a coincidence that the release of Alan Shipnuck’s no-holds-barred biography was timed for this very week, but it is the nature of the content, plus previously reported excerpts from the book, that make PGA Championship week more than the names on the entry list.

Just a few days ago, we reported on a part of the bio that concentrates on a story told by golf scribe John Hawkins.

In the short piece, Hawkins alleges Mickelson made large numbers bets on college basketball games in a brief space of time, so many that he felt the now-maligned player to be “showing off”.

The book makes many further allegations, including a segment involving outspoken former professional and announcer Gary McCord.

In that section of the book, McCord alleges gambling took place on the putting green during tournaments, and in the most bizarre fashion.

“When I was in the TV tower, every time Phil got to my hole, Bones (caddie Jim Mackay) would look up at me and I would flash the odds,” McCord said. “If Phil had a 15-footer, I’d flash three fingers, which meant the odds were 3-1. If he was 60 feet, I’d give him 2-1 on a two-putt. Bones would go down and whisper in his ear and Phil would look up at me and shake his head, yes or no.”

“I can’t tell you how many wadded-up twenties I threw out of the tower until the Tour found out about it and I got word through CBS I was no longer allowed to gamble with Phil while up in the tower.”

Previous to these allegations, Mickelson’s gambling habits were the stuff of hearsay, but this is perhaps the wildest Phil related gambling story of them all.

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19th Hole

‘I don’t trust Shipnuck’ – Former PGA champ hits out at author of new Mickelson biography



He may not be teeing it up at Southern Hills this week to defend his title, but Phil Mickelson is still creating plenty of buzz ahead of the second major of the year.

This week, the 2002 PGA Champion Rich Beem has revealed that he wants nothing to do with Alan Shipnuck, author of the just-released unauthorised biography of Phil Mickelson.

In an interview with BoyleSports Golf Betting and GolfMagic, the now Sky Sports analyst revealed he had “enough of the sensationalism” of how the writer approached his work on the 2021 book, ‘Bud, Sweat & Tees’, a publication featuring ‘Rich Beem’s Walk on the Wild Side of the PGA Tour’.

In the book, Shipnuck covered Beem’s rookie year alongside caddie Steve Duplantis, but the 51-year-old says that, “Even though he wrote that book, just so you know, you and I got paid the same amount for that book. After he wrote the book, we remained fairly friendly and then it got to the point where I’d had enough of the sensationalism of how he wrote it.”

Explaining why he is “not a fan,” of the author, Beem said, “I don’t trust him and if I don’t trust you, then I don’t really want to have anything to do with you. I think the one thing I base my friendships on and on who I want to talk to is ‘do I trust them?’ I don’t trust Alan. It’s nothing personal, I just don’t trust what he writes.”

“I think that he tries to sensationalist everything, but that’s just my personal opinion. Some folks love what he has to say, so it’s all good.”

In previously released excerpts from Shipnuck’s latest publication, ‘Phil. The Rip-roaring (unauthorized) Biography of Golf’s Most Colorful Superstar’, the 2021 PGA winner created huge controversy as he revealed his thoughts on Saudi Arabia, the planned golf league and the effect on the PGA Tour. Since then, Mickelson has been in exile, entering this week’s PGA Championship at Southern Hills, before pulling out just a few days ago.

In the interview, Beem expressed his surprise that Mickelson took so long to withdraw from the second major of the year and hopes that he doesn’t commit to the first LIV event at the Centurion Club in two weeks’ time.

“I was surprised he (Mickelson) was even on the list. I was surprised it got as close as it did. If you look at everything surrounding Phil, and especially with that book coming out, I think that’s a pretty damning book and I think that anybody wouldn’t want to be around.” Beem said.

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19th Hole

The list of most trolled golfers on Tour features some surprising names



Bookmakers’ directory,, has recently revealed a list of the most trolled professional golfers on social media – with some surprising results.

With the PiP having encouraged even more social media interaction, it’s of little surprise that some of the biggest names have been victims of online abuse, with the site calculating the amount of positive versus negative posts received.

Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas, all within the world’s top-10 ranked players, are quoted as receiving large amounts of trolling, but after a year of online spats (particularly with Bryson DeChambeau) Brooks Koepka is reported to have received around 77,500 positive comments and 18,000 negative remarks.

Those figures, however, put the four-time major champion in second place behind current world number two, Jon Rahm, who is said to be ‘the most-trolled player, with almost 20,000 negative posts compared to just over 30,000 positive ones.’

On a happier note, world number 20 and two-time PGA Tour winner Sungjae Im is said to have a ratio of around 15:1, his 3000 positive comments received far outweighing the 200 negative.

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