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March 10, 2011

Storm at Doral gives Golf Channel staff some hairy moments

A couple hours before Golf Channel began broadcasting opening-round coverage of the WGC-Cadillac Championship at 2 p.m. Thursday, what has been described as a microburst blasted through The TPC Blue Monster at Doral, causing quite a bit of damage to the property.

Wind gusts that reached 55 mph uprooted 17 trees, and toppled a couple camera towers overlooking the eighth and ninth greens as well as a ShotLink tower on the first hole. Additionally, a TV camera was blown into the water at the ninth hole. and there was slight damage to the 17th green. The huge scoreboard and video board at the 18th hole was reduced to rubble.

Before it went down, the camera on the ninth green caught some dramatic footage of the fast-striking storm, picking up footage of whipping winds, the eighth-hole camera toppling and debris being blown across the green.

Workers were sent scurrying to pick up debris before the resumption of play.

“We never felt like we were in any imminent danger, but the microburst came in fast and really caught everybody by surprise," said North Myrtle Beach native and Golf Channel play-by-play announcer Kelly Tilghman. "Fortunately no one was injured out there.”



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