President Trump may enjoy watching golf, apparently making him a normal person, but his presence at the U.S. Women's Open last weekend, held at his golf course in New Jersey, did not inspire other normal people to tune in, Sports Media Watch reported Tuesday. The final holes of the tournament on Sunday afternoon — South Korean golfer Sung Hyun Park won — drew a TV audience of 790,000 on Fox, or a 0.6 rating, a 40 percent drop from last year and the lowest rating for the U.S. Women's Open since at least 1988. The sad ratings weren't due to Trump's lack of promotion.
LPGA caddy Missy Pedersen said the crowds were pretty sparse at Trump National Golf Course, too. "This is the 10th U.S. Open I have caddied and upon entering the merchandise tent I immediately noticed how small it is in comparison to previous years," Pedersen told former LPGA gofer Anya Alvarez, continuing:
I was informed that the merchandise orders were driven by ticket sales. One can deduce that small merchandise orders equals small ticket sales. Once tournament play started there were very obvious voids in the gallery, so ticket sales did appear to be down. It's hard to comprehend slow tickets sales at a major event, near a densely populated area like New York City, when three years ago we played in a small town in Pennsylvania and drew almost 140,000 people. So you are left to conclude that either Trump's presence had no impact or it in fact had a negative impact on women's golf. [Good]
The Golf Channel wasn't willing to hang the low ratings on Trump, exactly, but said that "at best, sparse galleries and weak TV ratings suggest his presence couldn't overcome a weekend leaderboard devoid of American contenders." Alvarez, who published her column Monday, before the TV ratings came out, suggested that Trump stole what spotlight there was. "The Women's U.S. Open in golf is the most prestigious tournament the ladies play," she wrote, but this year, "people will remember this as Trump's U.S. Open." Given Trump's reverence for high ratings, he'd probably rather they didn't.