10:39 PM EDT, August 2, 2010
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, Wv
The golfers are gone, and life is returning to normal in White Sulphur Springs. Now that The Greenbrier Classic is in the history books, organizers of the PGA tournament are counting their successes, and some areas they hope to improve.
The 59 that Stuart Appleby posted in the final round wasn't the only impressive number from the inaugural tournament. Consider the attendance: from just over nine thousand spectators on Monday to more than 26 thousand for the first round on Thursday, and more than 41- thousand on Saturday and Sunday.
Greenbrier Owner Jim Justice spoke with reporters Sunday afternoon. "I honestly don't see how in the world that anything could have gone much better," Justice said. "I mean the crowds are off the chart."
The size of the crowds did create some problems, including long lines to the shuttle buses and a traffic jam near the State Fairgrounds that kept some people from reaching the Carrie Underwood - Brad Paisley Concert Saturday night.
Justice says organizers will consider ways to improve the tournament. "Let's step away from this and try to clean up our mistakes," Justice said, "because you know there have got to be things that are wrong we want to make better and everything, but we've batted a pretty good batting average here."
The tournament also contributed to a busy week at the Roanoke Regional Airport. Many of the golfers, tournament officials and fans who came through a week ago have now headed home. And Lakeland, Florida resident Ken Keck is one who considers the first Greenbrier Classic a success.
Keck told News 7, "on a scale from one to ten, if Augusta and The Masters is a twelve, of course, because they have it down pat there, I'd give this an eight. From the facilities perspective, i did not want for anything while I was at the tournament on the grounds. Maybe others did, but i certainly was comfortable throughout.'
And here's another number The Greenbrier hopes will hold. The resort's reservations line fielded more than 13- hundred calls a day during the tournament, more than twice the daily average.
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