PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. - It was no surprise to tournament directors at the Honda Classic the action of this year was yet another competitive contest. But this year, directors said the fanfare went beyond the game on the course.
"Out of 10, 1 out of 10 compared to last year, last year was a 6, this year was a 9.5," said Marj Nelson, a golf fan.
Some fans said it was the weather, which aside from the rain of Sunday morning, conditions were nearly perfect for golf. Other fans point to the prime location and easy access of PGA National. But for those enthusiasts who have watched the game intensely for years, it was all about one player.
"Tiger. He's the main show. He's the reason why I came this year," said Aaron Taylor, a golf fan.
According to tournament directors, an estimated 30% more people packed onto the grounds of PGA National. The figure point to the most successful Honda Classic to date.
"The buzz is in the air. The community is supporting this event. You know when you have four great days in Palm Beach County at PGA National, what's not to love about it?" said Kenneth Kennerly, PGA National executive director.
Kennerly said in 2011, the Honda Classic funneled $33 million into the community. Kennerly said he expects to surpass that figure in 2012.
"You know, it's what's the game of golf is all about, but most importantly, it's also about charity," said Kennerly.
The Honda Classic has also donated more than one million dollars to help children in need for the last few years. Kennerly also expects to meet that level of donations in 2012.
Directors of the Honda Classic said the success of 2012 puts the tournament in a good position for 2013, a tournament they are already planning.