Despite mud and heat, 96th PGA Championship hosts large crowd - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Despite mud and heat, 96th PGA Championship hosts large crowd

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Despite heat, humidity and rain, officials say 46,000 people showed up at Valhalla Golf Club Sunday for the final day of the PGA Championship. 

Officials say Valhalla received more than two inches of rain over the four days, creating muddy conditions for spectators. 

Play was delayed both Friday and Sunday. Play was delayed until 2:40 p.m. Sunday after a downpour hit Valhalla in the early afternoon, causing parts of the course to flood.

According to officials, the course managed to hold up well thanks to exceptional grounds keeping.

"They've worked around the clock," said Championship Director Brett Sterba. "I see them come off the golf course sweating from the work they're putting in."

But in the high traffic areas surrounding the course, everything turned to mud.

"It started raining the minute we got in here and I thought that I would never see a PGA event," said Brent Dougherty of Nashville, Tenn. 

Dougherty and his friends stuck it out, and even after taking a fall in the mud, he was happy they did.

"It's a beautiful course, it stood up well for the golfers, but for me, not so much," he said. "I took a fall on 10. I'm embarrassed but proud."

Sterba says despite the less than ideal conditions, the weather hasn't phased fans or golfers.

 "Whether we play in Louisville, Ky., Chicago, Il., or Atlanta, Ga. we are playing in August. It is always going to be warm," said Sterba. "These players are professional athletes. They are in shape and can get around the course just fine regardless of the heat."

Sterba also points out that, so far, players have given Louisville high marks.

"The players have been extremely complimentary of the fans in Louisville -- the sports fans in general and how they embrace major championships," said Sterba. "As far as fan excitement and the aura on this golf course right now, it's amazing."

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