Monday, June 24, 2024

Wind, rain and delays don’t stop fervent fans headed to Wells Fargo Championship

Powerful wind gusts and rain hammered the downtown this morning; spectators waiting for today's second round were undeterred. (Port City Daily photo / BENJAMIN SCHACHTMAN)
Powerful wind gusts and rain hammered the downtown this morning; spectators waiting for today’s second round were undeterred. (Port City Daily photo/BENJAMIN SCHACHTMAN)

WILMINGTON — Despite delays, bursts of torrential rain and gusts of wind up to 30 mph, spectators waited in line downtown for shuttle-buses headed to the Eagle Point golf course. And, despite the elements, spirits seemed high.

With heavy rains and tornado warnings throughout Thursday night and into Friday morning, the Wells Fargo Championship delayed its first tee twice; an initial two-hour delay until 8:50 a.m. was extended to a three-hour delay to 9:50 a.m.

By 11:30 a.m. Friday’s round two was well underway at Eagle Point; downtown, crowds were still assembling by shuttle stations as heavy rain continued to fall.

Some fans claimed it was all part of the tournament. Grady Sullivan, who drove in on Wednesday from Myrtle Beach, said he’d seen worse weather.

Tornado warnings and heavy rain delayed Friday's tee-times at the Wells Fargo Championship. Fans braved the elements to wait for shuttles. (Port City Daily photo / BENJAMIN SCHACHTMAN)
Tornado warnings and heavy rain delayed Friday’s tee-times at the Wells Fargo Championship. Fans braved the elements to wait for shuttles. (Port City Daily photo/BENJAMIN SCHACHTMAN)

“You never know what the weather’s gonna be. Try the Scottish Open. I’ve seen hail on the green, this is nothing,” Sullivan said. “I think it’s (Seamus) Power’s fault. He brought the rain out in Pebble Beach. He’s tee-ing off in a little bit, and the skies are opening up.”

Vince DiMarzio said he initially thought the event would be washed out, though he had planned to make the best of it.

“The family’s here on vacation, but my daughters aren’t crazy about golf,” DiMarzio said. “So, if it got canceled today, there’s a ton to do in town. This way is better though, they can do their shopping and boring dad can go watch golf.”

DiMarzio said his family rented a house in Kure Beach for the week.

Downtown Wilmington was dampened, spirits were not. (Port City Daily photo / BENJAMIN SCHACHTMAN)
Downtown Wilmington was dampened, spirits were not. (Port City Daily photo/BENJAMIN SCHACHTMAN)

“We wanted to make a whole thing out of it,” DiMarzio said. “The tournament sold me, obviously. I couldn’t wait to get here. It was a harder sell for the family, you know, they say, ‘does dad want us to go watch golf?’ But thankfully there’s beaches and shops and all that. It’s been a great week so far, one rainy day won’t spoil it.”

Forecasts for the weekend call for sunny days in the 70s – good news for dads and daughters alike.

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