Due to the close ending at the 2012 U.S. Open, it's no surprise that the ratings for the final round of the tournament was given a solid boost from the 2011 final, which saw Rory McIlroy walk away with the title. Despite relative unknown Webb Simpson coming out on top, audiences still found it intriguing enough to tune in.
Via USA Today:
The U.S. Open on NBC Sunday drew a 6.6 overnight. Predictably, that's up from last year's final-round coverage -- by 29% -- when the event's finish wasn't close and, more importantly, it didn't run in East Coast primetime.
But compared to two previous West Coast U.S. Opens that has similar primetime schedules -- in 2008 and 2010 -- NBC's Sunday coverage was down. It was down 22% from 2008 and 4% from 2010.
Of course, the decreased prime time rating compared to 2008 and 2010 can be attributed to Game 3 of the NBA Finals being broadcast at the same time. Both events took a hit in having to compete with one another.