Fans enjoy small crowds at the first round of the CJ Cup

Published: Oct. 20, 2022 at 4:18 PM EDT
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RIDGELAND, Sc. (WTOC) - It was the busiest day of the week so far at the Congaree Golf Club in Ridgeland for the first round of the CJ Cup.

But it was comfortably un-busy by PGA Tour event standards.

You could have gotten into a crowd at the first round of the CJ Cup in South Carolina. You just didn’t have to.

In fact, you would have had to work to do so.

“We watched Rory go by, we saw Fleetwood come through. So, the depth of this field is amazing. It’s got to be great for South Carolina,” said Tom Lyle, visiting from Houston.

One of the most popular players in the world had what you would call a gallery following him. But if you didn’t want to watch Rory McIlroy, you could have gotten up close to pretty much any player in a field full of stars.

“Oh, it’s terrific. What’s great about this year is they’ve got a full field. This is like a major, 15 of the top 20 players, what’s not to like about that,” said George Patterson, visiting from Charleston.

Major quality golf without major problems getting around - no matter what your plan.

“We’re going to walk around. Then sit, then walk around some more. We’ll follow some players. I want to see Rory play,” said Patricia and Peter Palmieri, from Sun City.

Attendance was not restricted for the CJ Cup. But it will be small, just 20,000 fans expected for the week when other PGA Tour events get that many per day.

But the small crowds and big-name players make for a good golf experience.

“Yeah, to have access to be this close to this field is just incredible.”

“It’s not like the Heritage. Even the parking lots aren’t that full.”

“Look, you park and you walk across the street to the fourth fairway, no other venue had that. You have to take a shuttle bus or something, but this is really good. And then you go watch the best players in the world. That’s right. That’s right, absolutely.