Where were the crowds?
At a real major, the fans are frothing. You see it even at the PGA Championship in the dog days of summer. Something is missing at the Players in that regard. It had more fan buzz when it was held in March, during March Madness, than it has the past two years.
The event, officially, was a sellout, according to PGA Tour officials. But on Saturday, the stands around the green on the 18th hole were far more empty than full when the leaders came through. On Sunday, there were many more people, but no real buzz. The hot wind may have had something to do with it. Or could it have been spring football?
Maybe the ticket prices were too reasonable, if you can believe such a thing. (I can't, but it's a theory.) A weeklong ticket cost $199 and was transferable. Not cheap, but the Players draws a pretty flush crowd. At that price, if you miss a day, the thinking might go, it's no big deal, right?
At the Masters, though, that does not happen.