Hey, Scott Bremner here. I asked Gary if I could guest post so that I could give you a few impressions of my day at the final round of the Bridgestone International in Akron Ohio.
I've always been working at such events. This was the first time I was able to enjoy the day, walk the course and watch the best golfers in the world as a fan.
The PGA Tour REALLY frowns on cell phones. For major stars like Tiger and Phil, guys in green hats walk up and down the ropes. Anyone with a cell phone out is asked to delete the image or the phone is taken until they leave. They're serious about protecting their images.
Standing on the slope of a tee waiting for 15 minutes to catch Phil Mickelson drive leads to two things: sore calves and the realization that I will never play the game the way it's meant to be played.
Many guys will walk off yardage from markers. It's not unusual, but it's just something you don't see watching the game on TV. This is interesting because the PGA has lasers on every hole to judge distance but the players are not given the information. Purists would argue that it's part of the game for players to judge distance for themselves. Fans of technology say if the distance is available, why not give it to them?
Courses get beat up when thousands of people walk on them. I bet it takes Firestone several months to recover.
There are great small moments in these tournaments, like when Rickie Fowler and his caddie walked by a little boy dressed all in orange (as Fowler normally is). The caddie stopped, gave the boy a golf ball and patted his head. You know that kid will remember that forever.
Phil Mickelson has a big crowd that follows him around the course but that army is dwarfed by followers of Tiger Woods. Of course, a seven stroke lead might have something to do with that.
A $15 hot dog and beer doesn't really taste that much better than a $5 hot dog and beer. Just sayin'!