McGladrey Classic: Where Were All the Fans?
By Stephanie Wei under PGA Tour

As you know I’m on vacation, even though I’m really bad at the concept of time away from my precious blog. I am happy to say that I didn’t watch a second of the McGladrey Classic, but it sounds like it would have been a good means to induce narcolepsy. I had a few friends who were covering the event and apparently it was a total snooze fest. Shocking! One media member — let’s call him Joe — texted me, “There were five people here [on Wednesday]. The tournament is expecting 7,500, but their expectations are probably a little high.” (Well, yeah, to my understanding, Sea Island is a ritzy vacation area and not the most accessible place.)

Joe, who wishes to remain anonymous because he doesn’t want to bear the wrath of the Tour, also had to exert lots of energy just to stay awake all week, which included listening to hard rock music on his iPod (actually, I don’t know what kind of music, but I’m guessing it wasn’t, like Michael Bolton). He wrote a little synopsis about his impressions of the oh-so-mind-numbing inaugural McGladrey Classic:

The atmosphere at the McGladrey seemed weak even for a Fall Series event. The course was fantastic, but with thin crowds following the leaders it was difficult to get into the action. The leaderboard tightened up on the back nine but most of the gallery was following tournament host and hometown favorite Davis Love III. Unfortunately, he was never a factor on Sunday.

I don’t want to be too hard on the tournament, though. It definitely seemed like the community embraced the event, which was evident by the number of bicycles locked up next to the main gate. In that sense it felt like huge galleries at a member/guest club event.

It was the inaugural event, so I don’t know how high expectations were, but Love and Team McGladrey seemed happy with the result. It has potential to be a great Fall Series event. If the players were being honest, they expect the field to improve. Guys do play tournaments for the simple fact that they enjoy the golf course and that seemed to be the theme amongst them.

***I was probably too kind in that assessment but hope it’s helpful.

Yes, Joe was much kinder in this write-up than he was in our phone conversation a few hours earlier, but that’s okay, he was fair! I’m sure he truly believes that the McGladrey Classic will become a Fall Series staple for Team McGladrey — because, well, they’re paid to show up.

Oh, and on Monday? The Sea Island resort was up for auction since it was bankrupt. Apparently, the wealthy southerners cut back on their exuberant vacations in this economy. Go figure! But good news is supposedly the auction was a huge success!