94th PGA Championship brings heat on and off the course

KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. (WCIV) -- The buzz is building, and so are the crowds at the Kiawah Ocean course.

Day one brought everything from big names, to big time heat and {}a traffic plan that went surprisingly smooth.

It was a welcome sight after a blazing hot day, the best golfers in the world and thousands of patrons descended on The Ocean Course for day one of the 94th PGA Championship.

It was a day that delighted many, including Molly Perkins, who made the drive to Kiawah to check out what all the buzz was about at the largest sporting event in South Carolina history.

{}"I just got off work and I wanted to see a little of the practice rounds before the chaos got here and it's perfect weather," Perkins said.

And she wasn't alone, the early evening crowd lined the ropes eager to cheer on the likes of Phil Mickelson, Masters champion Bubba Watson and tour sensation Ricky Fowler.

But the competition between players certainly wasn't the only thing they were battling on the course.

Temperatures in the upper 80's and high humidity made for a grueling day on the country's longest major course.

Tiger Woods opted to get an early start to avoid the crowds and scorching temperatures, starting his day off around 6:00 AM.

Others waited until the afternoon to tee off, hoping the ocean breeze would cool things off. {}

"I think it's [the heat] a little more mental than it is physical," Tour Pro Rickie Fowler said "It gets quite warm, today we kind of took it easy. It was nice to get nine holes in but you're going to have to play in the middle of the day at some point."

But the stars of golf weren't the only ones battling the oppressive heat.

Charleston County Emergency Service Spokesman Don Lundy said crews treated 58 people for heat-related problems.

Thirty refreshment stands located throughout the course were constantly slammed with spectators.

"If you are thirsty before you get here you are done already," Concessions manager Jamie Futtrell said. {}"That's why we are running through so much the first couple of days."

As the week goes on, it will be tough to beat the heat.

The true game this week, may just be to survive long enough to watch some of the game's greats knock around a little white ball under the hot Lowcountry sun.

As for the traffic, it was smooth sailing for much of Monday.{} Few tie ups were reported.

Charleston County Sheriff's Deputies and Highway Patrol personnel were out in force controlling the flow at the lights on both Johns and James Island.

But once{}on the island, thousands of cars were directed to a staging area where fans were then bused to the front door of the ocean Course.

"We ask people to be patient with us," Captain Jim Woods of the Charleston County Sheriff's Office said. {}"We have an extensive traffic plan.{} We had the residents of the area and the attendees in our minds when we put that plan together."

Traffic is expected to pick up on Wednesday and stay busy throughout the weekend.

Patrons are urged to get there early and be patient.

If you are heading out to the 94th PGA Championship you are urged to bring sunscreen, bug spray and stay hydrated and enjoy watching the best golfers in the world compete for the year's final major.