Despite storm, anticipation building for AT&T Sunday

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BETHESDA, Md. – As chainsaws and chipping machines continued to buzz across Congressional early Sunday, AT&T National tournament director Greg McLaughlin was still in awe of the storm that nearly blew away this year’s event.

“The tent (on the 10th tee) was in the pool,” he sighed. “I’m not sure where the tent (on No. 1) ended up because when I got here (Saturday morning) it was nowhere to be found.”

It will be weeks before the cleanup is complete following Friday’s storm, which brought winds that reached 70 mph and felled more than 40 trees, but it was business as usual on Sunday.

Officials made the unprecedented move of closing Saturday’s Round 3 to the public because of safety concerns, but the gates opened at 9 a.m. on Sunday and a steady stream of anxious fans were quickly gathering in anticipation of the 1:15 p.m. final tee time, which will feature leader Brendon De Jonge, Bo Van Pelt and tournament host Tiger Woods.

Saturday passes were being honored for Sunday’s final round and McLaughlin was anticipating a crowd that could swell to 30,000 or more.

“The weather is a little more mild today compared to Thursday and having Tiger in the last group always helps,” McLaughlin said. “We checked yesterday to be sure we had the extra parking. We plan for the big overflow.”