Sunny Weather Greets Final Round of U.S. Women's Open
Posted July 1, 2007 7:42 p.m. EDT
Updated July 2, 2007 12:28 a.m. EDT
Pinehurst, N.C. — The final round of the U.S. Women's Open ushered in a sun-drenched day Sunday, but tournament officials worried that earlier rains this week dampened attendance and profit.
Spectators expressed their appreciation for a sunny day after bad weather forced weather delays earlier this week. Officials said that this was the first time in tournament history that weather forced the suspension of play on all but two days.
"It rained the past two or three days, so this is nice. This is really nice," said spectator Joe McNeil.
The sunny weather, however, brought its own problems. Medical staff said they saw a number of patients needing treatment for heat-related illnesses Saturday and Sunday.
"Some of our peak days, we've seen 30 plus patients that have been exhibiting signs of heat exhaustion and dehydration," said Scot Brooks with the Moore County Mobile Command Center.
"We were expecting, not extremely hot temperatures, but with the humidity, it's been unbelievable this week," said spectator Sharon Price.
Sharon, along with her husband Wilton Price, weathered all the tournament's hot and stormy conditions over the past week.
Tournament Director Betse Hamilton is concerned that the heat and weather delays chiseled away at attendance numbers and the bottom line.
This year's U.S. Women's Open was expected to attract close to 120,000 spectators.
"We're slightly lower than that at this point," Hamilton said Sunday.
"Any time you do suspend play and you aren’t able to get people into the gate as you normally would, that certainly impacts not only your gate sales, but also your concessions and your merchandise sales, as well," said Hamilton.
Hamilton expressed hope that Sunday's good weather would encourage attendance and increase profits.
"Hopefully, we'll make up some ground today because it's a beautiful day," said Hamilton.
Tournament officials expect to know the final attendance numbers in the next few days.
Fans certainly enjoyed the sunny and dry weather Sunday.
"There's a nice little breeze. Unfortunately, the players don't like it, but we do," said Sharon Price.