Crowds lacking in size during Round 2 at Doral
Saturday, March 12, 2011
DORAL, Fla. – Beautiful Saturday at the Blue Monster. Bit of a surreal one, too.
Not sure what the attendance number was. The attendance word might be “thin” – at least with the leaders.
Oddly, not many people followed the final twosome of tournament leader Hunter Mahan and World No. 1 Martin Kaymer on the front nine. About 200 people were in their gallery on the sixth hole, where Mahan holed a 34-foot birdie putt to take a two-stroke lead at the time.
NBC announcer Roger Maltbie said he has never seen such a small weekend crowd with the leaders. And the low number of specators wasn’t lost on the relaxed Mahan. During a delay on the 10th tee, Mahan walked about 20 feet over to tell a member of the news media, “The fans don’t give you much.”
Well, there weren’t many doing the giving. And it’s not like the twosome of Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson stole fans from the leaders. Woods and Mickelson were finishing up as Mahan-Kaymer were starting out the third round of the WGC Cadillac Championship.
Nor were there many reporters around. Only three members of the working press followed the final group on the front.
Why the small crowd on such a perfect day? Well, part of the answer was in the question;
it was a perfect day in Miami, and there’s an ocean a few miles away. It’s a big weekend for NCAA basketball conference tournaments. Woods isn’t in contention.
Might ticket prices be a reason? Yes, tickets cost $50 at the gate Saturday. But daily tickets bought before March 1 were as low as $20 daily and $90 for the week.