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Fans are Out for AT&T National

Fans are Out for AT&T National

It was an eerily quiet Saturday at the Congressional Country Club. The third round of the AT&T National was a different setting without the usual throngs of spectators. Tiger Woods walked from the clubhouse without anyone calling out his name or pushing against other spectators. Fans that used to ask for autographs were not around.

The event was closed to fans and spectators after huge trees on the golf course were turned over during a powerful wind storm. The decision was made for safety reasons and to avoid further disaster. “It’s too dangerous out here. There’s a lot of hanging limbs. There’s a lot of debris. It’s like a tornado came through here. It’s just not safe,” said Mark Russell, the Vice President of Rules and Competition for the PGA Tours. “Trees are one thing, but how about hundreds of limbs — big limbs?” he said.

A big event like the AT&T National usually brings in huge crowds, especially when the biggest names in golf, including Woods, are present. The scenario this time was completely different, with just 16 people in the bleachers. Six of them were volunteers while the other ten were involved in support services like telecommunications.
“It was an easy decision. Everything inside the ropes was thrown outside the ropes,” Russell said regarding the decision to keep the people away.

Tickets bought by fans for that Saturday game would be honored the following day instead. The schedules for Sunday’s final round will also be adjusted to start later, to allow time for final clearing operations.

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