Survival of the fittest: Weather as big an obstacle as course


JOHNS CREEK, Ga. – At 8:35 a.m. when Tiger Woods tees off for the first round of the PGA Championship it will be 75 degrees at Atlanta Athletic Club. Before his opening turn is over the temperature will climb close to 90 degrees and it will feel like 100. Almost as important as a sound swing and mind will be players’ preparations to beat Hotlanta’s heat.

Davis Love III plans to drink a 16-ounce bottle of water mixed with a hydration supplement every two holes, while Phil Mickelson began his workup to the PGA four days before he arrived in Georgia.

“You really have to start a couple days before to prepare your body,” said PGA Tour trainer Sean Cochran, whose clients include Mickelson.

And it’s not just drinking more water. Trainers stress the need to replace electrolytes with supplements from products like Nuun, Amino Vital and Gatorade’s G2.

The sweltering conditions also favor players who are more fit.

“Conditioning really separates the field. If you’re carrying an extra few pounds it can make a big difference,” said Tour trainer Randy Myers, who works with Love, Dustin Johnson and Gary Woodland.

Woods, who won the 2007 PGA at scorching Southern Hills, seemed particularly excited about the challenges that come with a PGA in Georgia.

“It's hotter at home, so this is nice. It's not so hot here,” Woods said on Wednesday. “I'm looking forward to it. I had a nice tournament at (Southern Hills) when it was over 110 that week, so hopefully this will be a similar success.”