Golfers Say They're Ready To Deal With The Heat

The Hartford Courant

Golfers and fans alike will have to deal with record-high temperatures expected at both the Travelers Championship Celebrity Pro-am Wednesday and the first round Thursday at TPC River Highlands.

While everyone will have to take precautions, the golfers say they are excited to play in the heat.

"I like it. It goes a lot further," three-time major champion Padraig Harrington said Tuesday. "You get about five percent more distance, more yards. Of course, the ball goes 10 percent further than what I'm used to [at home] in Ireland."

Unlike Harrington, Billy Hurley III lives in the heat and humidity in Annapolis, Md., so he is used to playing in those conditions.

"I play really well when it's hot out," he said. "I don't know if we've played in temps this high so far this year, but the ball goes farther, it stays up in the air a little longer and the ground tends to be a little drier too, so you'll get more roll. …You just have to make sure you stay hydrated the night before and stay on top of it when you're out on the course."

John Quinlavin, Travelers Championship Director of Medical Services, went into more depth about the preparation players and fans will have to take in order to avoid heat-related illness.

Tournament officials have taken measures to make the environment safer for spectators. Among the changes, extra medical staff and equipment will be available and free water will be offered at the four medical tents scattered throughout the course.

"It's all dependent on whether people drink enough water," Quinlavin said. "And if they don't, they can easily succumb to headache, weakness, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, or just a general sense of feeling unwell. …The more serious condition is heat stroke, when the body temperature actually rises to an unsafe level, but we can take care of that here as well."

Quinlavin suggested drinking about a liter of water per hour out in the sun. "The key to it, is fixing it before it happens," he said.

Fox 61 meteorologist Rachel Frank said that temperatures will likely be above 95 degrees Wednesday and Thursday could reach triple digits if the conditions are right.

"Both days are going to be very hot," she said. "It will feel like 105 with the humidity. There should be some hazy sunshine as well, with a light breeze between five and 15 miles per hour."

Record-highs for both days are 96 degrees, and if it gets there, a 100-degree day would be just the third on record for the month of June.

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