This week is the AT&T National PGA Golf Tournament. This week also had record heat with people, spectators and players, dropping left and right from the oppressive heat. How bad was it?
Friday set not only the heat record for the day here in Washington, but also the all time record for the entire month of June!
Thursday saw at least 5 – 6 people treated for heat exhaustion and Friday saw even more folks unable to finish the course. One golfer and two caddies had to stop and be treated for heat exhaustion.
How oppressive and hot was it?
104 degrees and 110 – 112 heat index.
That is crazy stupid heat!
Friday was, of course, the day I had chosen (weeks ago) to attend my first AT&T National PGA tournament.
Actually, I would like to think that I, my son and visiting nephew, we were only half crazy stupid fans. Knowing it was going to be oppressively hot, we headed out to Congressional Country Club at sunrise, found a nice shady spot by the picturesque 10th green and kept to the shade trees between fairways, greens and tees. We decided early on to NOT walk the course. Did not join the throngs of shouting “in the hole1″ fans following Tiger. Which means we mostly sat, drank plenty of water, enjoyed the occasional breeze and nearly got hit at least four times by wayward drives.
It was a lot of fun!
Honestly, my nephew must be a ball magnet, that is the only way we could explain our uncanny luck of having random golf balls suddenly come crashing through the trees and or suddenly land 20 feet in front of us seemingly out of nowhere. But, none of them hit us, so I’m sorry to say – No Autographs were collected.
All in all we got to see a lot of big names play – like Tiger, Furyk, Choi, Day, Slocum – and we still got out of there by noon, before it really got too crazy stupid hot and oppressive. The noon time temperature was 97 with an index of 104.
All in all it was actually a whole lot of crazy stupid fun!
But wait! The crazy stupid stuff is not yet over! Today, Saturday, the PGA has canceled all access to the tournament for all spectators and volunteers. They are not even sure if they will have the players play today. Of course many thousands of people are going to complain. Some because it is a day late and a dollar short. Others because they really wanted to go watch golf.
I am actually more in the camp of a day late and dollar short, even though we did go ourselves. Today is only forecast to be between 96 – 98 degrees. That’s nothing compared to yesterday!
But wait! There is even more!
In the announcement by the PGA said ALL Saturday Tickets will be honored on Sunday. That means the championship round! Saturday ticket holders get bargain basement access usually reserved for other high paying fans! That means double the crowds, double the headache for all to enjoy. Oh and the weather forecast Sunday is EXACTLY like today, a pleasant and cool 97 degrees!
And I find this announcement particularly funny. Double Tee Times and Tiger goes at 2:40. So instead of starting in the morning when it really is cooler, they start in the middle of the afternoon and just so that all those “in the hole” shouting Tiger fans (who will not be there to watch) can tune in and what on TV.
Honestly, and after witnessing this first hand, if you ever want to know where Tiger is, just listen for all those crazy stupid shouting fans following him all around the course. It was fascinating to watch. And it makes you feel for all the other players. When we were there, Furyk and Day were in the group following Tiger. They had hardly anybody following them. And the amateurs and folks struggling to even make the cut, nobody – zilch. Yet, as we found out, often well worth watching.
Yup more stupid crazy fun. But at least I will be watching it all take place from the comfort of my air conditioned home.