DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - The TOUR Championship golf tournament gets underway Thursday in southeast Atlanta but only after major cleanup following Tropical Storm Irma.
Tour officials told Severe Weather Team 2 meteorologist Katie Walls that it took 3,000-man hours to bring the course up to par after the storm.
With the top 30 players in the world competing in the TOUR Championship, the culminating event of the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedEx Cup, every leaf, twig and branch was picked up within 48 hours of the storm ending.
“If your ball is sitting on the debris, and if you move the debris, the ball moves and you’re penalized,” said East Lake Golf Club General Manager and Chief Operating Officer Chad Parker.
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Just days ago, the 10th and the 18th fairways were covered with debris.
“Branches, twigs, everywhere,” Parker said. “You just envision this fairway and its surroundings covered in leaves and little bitty twigs, mainly small things. Just a lot of work to clean it up.”
Officials say it could have been much worse.
To help minimize damage, Martin Stephenson, Tournament Director for the TOUR Championship, told Walls, “We actually ended up boarding up every single window that you see out here on the golf course. Not many people realize that everything on the golf course outside of the club house is a temporary structure. High winds with temporary structures is not a good mix.”East Lake Golf Club lost five trees and sustained minor damage to one structure.
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