Updated: PGA.com Heats Up Before Woods Melts Down

Y.E. Yang wins 2009 PGA

I spent some time this weekend following the PGA Championship online and it looks like I wasn’t alone: Turner Sports, which operates PGA.com, tells paidContent the site averaged 1.4 million daily uniques during the four-day tournament, up 94 percent over 2008. Overall, Turner Sports delivered a record 2.4 million live player streams through PGA.com, Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) Sports and PIP, a 204 percent increase over the previous year. Turner later said it also delivered 1 million streams on demand, for a total of 3.4 million. The internal data comes from Omniture.

But the biggest day wasn’t Sunday, when Tiger Woods inexplicably melted down after a tournament-long coronation and lost to Y.E. Yang, the first Asian player to win a men’s golf major. True to form for online sports, it was a day when much of the audience was at work.

PGA.com set a single-day site record Friday with 1.7 million uniques and 1.3 million live player and on-demand streams. That’s nearly as many streams as the 2 million-plus PGA.com delivered in 2007, the year after the broadband video service debuted. Friday was the day that Phil Mickelson came close to missing the cut, a bit of drama that no doubt increased interest.

Bolstering the “broadband adds” theory, TV ratings also were up significantly for Turner’s TNT this year. The final numbers are due later today but so far the network is showing high double-digit gains for its exclusive coverage Thursday and Friday and its early coverage Saturday and Sunday.

Update: The official ratings are out … TNT averaged a 1.4 for U.S. households for the tournament, up 75 percent over 2008. Estimated total viewers: nearly 1.9 million. Even the early coverage Saturday and Sunday was up 67 percent, averaging a 1.5.

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