Tiger impacts Wyndham

The air is brisk and the grass is lush at beautiful Sedgefield Country Club on the Wednesday following the final round of the Wyndham Championship. Maintenance crews and Sedgefield staff scurry around the grounds to deconstruct stages and podiums scattered among the golf course.

“Sedgefield was in pristine shape for the tournament,” said Wyndham attendee Jonathan Sharpe. “The fescue, the water, the tree-lined fairways and slick greens made for wonderful scenery throughout the tournament.”

The Wyndham Championship has been held annually at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro since 2008. But this year there was a new vibe leading up to the tournament.

That vibe was Tiger Woods.

This year marks the first year that Tiger Woods has competed in the Wyndham, committing to the tournament in hopes of a victory and a berth in the FedEx cup playoffs.

“I have been present at every tournament held here so far in the past eight years,” said Head Golf Professional Eric Ferguson. “Ticket sales rose to over 30,000 the night that Tiger committed.”

The Wyndham brings quite a crowd each year, but having golf legend Tiger Woods competing this year changed everything drastically for the tournament.

“Food, security and media all increased astronomically because of Woods,” said Ferguson. “Merchandise and overall revenue blew through tournament records from past years. We usually bring in around $30 million each year, but this year we actually brought in around $50 million, which is amazing in my opinion.”

Woods has an army of fans, media and security surrounding him at every single hole throughout the tournament.

“I followed him all 18 holes,” said Sharpe. “There had to be at least a thousand people following him from hole to hole. The security and media entourage inside the ropes was 30 to 50 people strong around Tiger’s group.”

This year the championship broke annual sales records, but not all of this money goes straight to pockets of players and staff members.

“I think we saw, basically, everything up 30 to 50 percent,” said Tournament Director Mark Brazil in an interview with NBC Golf. “The best part about it is, without question, we have significantly more money this year for charity.”

People swarmed in to witness history being made as Woods performed in the Wyndham. A  record-breaking 143,000 fans roamed the Sedgefield grounds throughout the four days of the tournament. On Sunday, a capacity crowd of 35,000 fans flocked to the course to watch in awe as their favorite players competed.

“The crowds were large and people were in good spirits, especially those following Tiger Woods,” said Assistant Athletics and Sports Information Director Dave Walters. “The galleries for Woods and his playing partners were larger than the rest of the pairings.”

With record-breaking crowds and sales, the Wyndham was a success for not only the tournament itself, but also for the city of Greensboro. With all of the visiting golf fanatics and enthusiasts, Greensboro experienced an even larger economic impact with this year’s tournament.