Navistar LPGA Classic ends

Posted by Cody Holyoke - bio | email

PRATTVILLE, AL (WSFA) - It was a fitting end to Prattville's four days of fame.

Lorena Ochoa clinched a second win at the Navistar LPGA Classic--just before the clouds and heavy rain rolled in.

Bad weather or not, fans poured into Prattville to watch the competition on the course.

Large groups swept behind their favorite golfers as they made their way to the 18th hole.

"It feels really fun and cool [. . .] because our town doesn't have much stuff going on like this," said young Tatum Willis of Prattville.

Of course, there were alternatives to hiking through the grounds.

Some spectators secured a spot on the bleachers or brought their own chairs.

"We have been here every year the LPGA has been here," explained James Kight of Millbrook, parked on the 18th green.

"I'm sort of new to golfing and this just makes it even more exciting to me," said Gladys Watson of Wetumpka.

When fans weren't watching the game, they spent some time buying some souvenirs.  Other spectators waited for autographs.

Organizers say that's a good sign of the event's growing popularity.

"We have reached out to a regional crowd. There are more regional folks here, and definitely a whole lot more today than we ever saw last year. Last year's Sunday or any day we've ever had," explained tournament director Jonathan Romeo.

Even with new additions, top named players, and a second consecutive victory, Romeo anticipates even more excitement next time around.

"Just look for bigger and better things. We're going to do some other fan friendly things. I think we've gotten some great feedback this year, and we'll make 2010 even better," he said.

It's a pleasant forecast for the growing number of fans.

"To be able to see the greatest golfers in the world here at home is really a wonderful experience.  It's good for Alabama, we believe," Kight said.

Organizers tell WSFA 12 News 11,000 people attended the final round of play.  That's up 3,000 from the same day last year.

About 30,000 fans made the trek to Prattville over the course of the 4-day event.

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