Heat will top the leaderboard at Tour Championship

Gamers, like Tom Kim, and followers alike might want to take precautions this weekend on the Tour Championship. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Photos)

ATLANTA — Xander Schauffele was within the media heart close to the tenth tee at East Lake, midway via a thought on the upcoming PGA Tour-Saudi Public Funding Fund merger, when he stopped, shook his head and smiled. “Sorry,” he mentioned, “my mind’s a bit sizzling right here.”

He’s not the one one. This yr’s Tour Championship goes off in every week the place warmth indexes in Atlanta are projected to high 100 virtually day-after-day of the match. The Braves carried out additional precautions and arrange water stations throughout Truist Park for his or her just-completed collection in opposition to the Mets, and the Falcons have closed coaching camp practices this weekend to followers out of concern for the extraordinary warmth.

“It by no means appears to get simple to play in warmth like this,” Harman mentioned. “I simply hope all people stays secure, particularly individuals watching. We watch much more followers go down than gamers and caddies.”

As dangerous as this weekend may get, it probably nonetheless received’t contact the situations two weeks in the past in Memphis on the FedEx St. Jude Championship. There, a mix of warmth, humidity and rain turned the course right into a sauna, with the warmth index hovering over 110 levels.

“It felt prefer it was simply coming off the bottom,” Jordan Spieth. “You can simply really feel the water coming off the bottom. I am going to convey two shirts any longer and alter on the flip as a result of I used to be struggling a bit early within the spherical. I had some goosebumps.”

“We realized some issues from Memphis,” Tour Championship government director Alex City mentioned. “We wished to search out methods to mitigate warmth exhaustion in order that the gamers may deal with golf, not the warmth.” The Tour has arrange the whole lot from momentary shades to coolers filled with towels to gadgets at tee containers designed to step by step chill gamers’ fingers.

Followers are one other concern, although as City notes, “it’s August in Atlanta. The warmth isn’t a shock to us.” The Tour has minimize the price of water bottles from $4 to $2 and arrange water stations and shaded, cooling-fan-laden tents everywhere in the course, amongst different facilities.

The warmth on the Tour Championship is a direct consequence of the Tour transferring its playoffs earlier within the calendar to keep away from competitors with soccer. Beforehand, the Tour Championship came about in late September — nonetheless a extremely popular time of yr in Georgia, however not the face-melting warmth of mid-August. However the competitors for tv viewers, to not point out on-course galleries within the coronary heart of school soccer nation, was too steep, notably after Tiger Woods stopped being a constant presence.

Nonetheless, despite the fact that the warmth could also be excessive, that is enterprise as traditional for golf, as Rory McIlroy famous Wednesday.

“As an out of doors sport, I imply, we kind of chase the solar all yr spherical, so I do not suppose it is one thing that we’re not used to. We’re used to enjoying in warmth,” McIlroy mentioned. “Now we have performed in a number of warmth right here earlier than in Atlanta, and I am positive we’ll be OK.”

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