Final preps underway for PGA Barbasol Championship - Montgomery Alabama news.


Final preps underway for PGA Barbasol Championship

(Source: RTJ golf) (Source: RTJ golf)

The PGA Tour Barbasol Championship will tee off Thursday morning in Opelika.

Crews are hard at working putting the finishing touches on the tournament.

Organizers are expecting 50,000 spectators, double the turnout from last year.

All of those people are expected to bring about $25 million to the Opelika-Auburn area. 

Players also have money on their mind; a $3.5 million purse is up for grabs this week, with a $630,000 check going to the winner.

For it's second time hosting the Barbasol Championship, crews at Grand National are confident they'll be able to take it to the next level. 

"It's always exciting when you're in the sophomore season as I like to call it, the second year of an event," said Tour Director Jonathan Romeo. "Things to tend a whole lot smoother because you know and learn from year one."

"At this point, we don't anticipate any problems and the folks here with the Barbasol Championship and RTJ, they've just done a remarkable job," said Doug Milne with the PGA Tour. "You'd think this is a tournament that has been around for decades." 

As part of the preparations, rules staff make sure the course is ready for play every day.

"They will check the length of the fairways, the lengths of the greens to make sure everything is where it is intended to be and to where we have let the players know it's going to be. The players don't like surprises," said Milne.

But even Mother Nature could have some surprises in store for the tournament, something not too surprising to those on the PGA Tour.

"More than half of the events on our tour schedule each year are impacted by weather of some sort," said Milne. "Sometimes the weather delays are five minutes and sometimes an entire day's gone. But the PGA Tour Rules staff is exceptional at preparing for all these situations and occasions."

But for all that's at stake, everyone from organizers to players are calm and are getting ready for whatever may happen this week.

"Tuesday, typically the mood is really relaxed. The players are out. They're catching up. Maybe they're seeing someone they hadn't seen for a couple of weeks," said Milne. "Sometimes players have wives caddying for them. They have friends. So, very relaxed, very low key."

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