Beau Hossler (right), who shot a
77, walks off the 10th green with no spectators on the course on
By Fred Albers, PGATOUR.COM Correspondent BETHESDA, Md. --
There was little applause at the AT&T National at Congressional
Country Club on Saturday. None of the "oohs" and "aahs" the PGA
TOUR players are used to hearing took place. The overnight storms
made it necessary to close the course to all but essential
personnel. So, after players hit good shots there was no applause
from the gallery. Some players improvised. When Robert Garrigus
made a 10-foot putt on the first hole, he held up his hand as if to
thank the gallery while his fellow competitor Pat Perez applauded.
The two of them then shared a laugh together.
Tiger Woods still commanded the
largest gallery of the day. However, instead of thousands there
were about 75 people walking the course with him. Most of that was
comprised of volunteers and media. The public missed out on a
spectacular opening nine holes. Woods used just five putts in the
first six holes that included a chip-in birdie at the sixth.
Tough week for caddies:
It has been a tough week
to be a caddie on the PGA TOUR. Five caddies could not complete
Friday's second round because of heat exhaustion and Robert
Garrigus’ caddie, Brent Henley, hit his head on the side of
the caddie trailer and opened a cut that required 40 stitches.
Henley was back on the bag Saturday with a huge bandage wrapped
around his forehead. PGA Tour players took turns signing that
There were no vending stations on the
course to purchase water on Saturday but it was not a problem. The
tournament provided free water for the small gallery and media by
filling a modified golf cart with ice and water bottles, then
dispersing it freely to a grateful gallery.
Every disaster contains the
story of a person who narrowly missed his or her connection on a
flight that crashed or the driver that chose to stop at a yellow
light and missed the four-car pileup on the other side of the
intersection. The storm that caused millions of dollars in damage
on the East Coast on Friday had its own story with a happy ending.
For the past two weeks, the tournament operations manager has lived
out of a temporary trailer behind the fifth tee. He moved out of
those makeshift quarters on Friday evening to spend the night with
his family. During the stormy night, a large tree fell and crushed
that trailer, flattening it like a pancake. Call it good luck, good
fortune, or a nice coincidence. But a possible tragedy was avoided.