It had been a mostly bleak year for the golf majors. The combination of no Tiger Woods and a lack of drama in the three previous majors was deadly, leading to some historic low ratings.
Then there was Sunday. The last round of the PGA Championship reminded everyone what Sunday at a major is all about.
Not only was the action thrilling, and the finish on 18 truly bizarre, the afternoon rain delay pushed the climax into prime time on CBS. It resulted in a 6.0 overnight rating of the major markets for the network, the highest for the final round in five years and up 36 percent from 2013; 1 ratings point is worth more than 1 million homes.
The final-round rating peaked at 9.2 from 7 to 7:30 p.m. Chicago time.
More importantly, it got everyone talking about golf again. The final round will serve as a transition of sorts, with the new era, Rory McIlroy and Ricky Fowler, battling the old era, 44-year-old Phil Mickelson. The veteran nearly pulled it out, but ultimately the day belonged to the new face of golf.
With his second straight major in the bag and fourth overall, McIlroy is showing he is the kind of player who can get non golf fans to tune in when his name is on the leaderboard.
Now the countdown begins for the Masters: only 242 days to go until the opening round. McIlroy will be going for his third straight major and will be trying to complete the career grand slam.
It also is a long enough time for Woods to get healthy and regain his game. CBS can only dream of the ratings possibilities of McIlroy-Woods showdown in Augusta.