PALM HARBOR, Fla. — Some waited hours just to get a look.
“He’s Tiger. He’s the best all time,” said Anthony Walters. “Any time he comes to a small tournament or any tournament, he’s going to elevate everything.”
Tiger jumped on to the course at Innisbrook around 2 p.m. for a practice round, and he’s already attracting huge crowds.
“Probably going to break records. I talked to some of the locals that have been coming here for years. They said they have never seen a Tuesday like this. Ever,” said Patrick Toney.
Tournament director Tracy West says their office erupted in cheers when they got the call Tiger was coming.
And they easily expect to break attendance records.
“It’s one of those things you wish for and hope for and you think, will it ever happen? And then when it really does. It’s really exciting.”
All the extra fans mean more workers were brought in to for concessions and security.
“We generate over a $50 million economic impact into the area and that’s from hiring all the local businesses that we do, to all the rooms that are generated. This is a big tourism book for the area,” said West.
There’s also all that publicity for Tampa Bay, with the the tournament on national television.
“It’s just going to make it grow more and more. It was already going to be big for the Palm Harbor/St. Pete area. But it’s going to be huge with Tiger being here,” said Walters.
Also benefiting are dozens of Tampa Bay Area charities. Last year, the Valspar donated more than $2.4 million to different groups.
They expect that number to go up this year too.