I was on my way to bed when I was asked for my take on the crowds at AT&T National. I tweeted earlier that the galleries following the leaders were small, which I’m told contradicted what someone else, who I believe followed Tiger in the morning, wrote. With only 140 characters on Twitter, I couldn’t add that the crowds, though sparser than normal for a Saturday afternoon, were very supportive.
See Exhibit A above — the herd tracking Tiger.
One of the first things I said when I met up with my friend was, “Whoa, why isn’t anyone here?” She replied, “Because Tiger is gone.” Duh. I was just a little surprised because watching the telecast on Thursday and Friday, the galleries looked incredibly plentiful for the first two rounds. I forgot they also show Tiger hit every shot.
By the time I arrived at 1PM, Tiger had finished and left the course. Naturally, the crowds disappeared with him.
Now, let’s take a look at Exhibit B below — Justin Rose teeing off on the 16th hole.
Yeah. There were actually several more people than that tracking him, but you get the picture. I was walking with the third to last group, and while there were a fair number of fans walking along, I had a front-row seat on every shot (if I wanted it).
The sparse galleries caught me off-guard — especially since there were far larger at the Travelers Championship last weekend, where Tiger wasn’t even playing. But like I said, the Philly fans were still fantastic, and surprisingly, they weren’t obnoxious.
So, if you’re going to watch the final round, expect great vantage points in the afternoon, particularly once some guy named Tiger has finished.
[Photos by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images]