Tiger Woods' playoff performance at the U.S. Open drew traffic big enough to look like a massive denial-of-service attack to Internet service providers.
According to Internet security company Arbor Networks, the playoff between Woods and Rocco Mediate "generated one of the larger Internet-wide flash crowds this year." The country's golf fans who were at work, turned to Web video to watch the duel at Torrey Pines.
The security firm reported that several ISP's saw between 15 and 25 percent spikes in traffic. One ISP reported that traffic nearly doubled. Engineers at the ISPs stopped worrying when they saw the ballooning Internet usage wasn't directed at any individual customer.
"Traffic dipped and peaked corresponding to Tiger's initial misses and subsequent spectacular comeback as millions of office-bound fans tuned in to the live NBC and ESPN coverage," Arbor Networks wrote.
NBC said that Monday's playoff drew the biggest audience the Web site has ever seen, with 2 million users generating 9 million page views. The United States Golf Association and ESPN also covered the game but their numbers weren't available.