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Rain Dampens First Day of LPGA Event

Rainy weather Monday put a damper on the first day of events at the Walmart Northwest Arkansas Championship presented by P&G.
Rainy weather Monday put a damper on the first day of events at the Walmart Northwest Arkansas Championship presented by P&G.

There is a chance for more storms later in the week, but event organizers say they are more concerned with the heat, and they're taking steps to keep visitors cool.

"It's an outdoor sport, so you deal with the conditions that you have," says tournament chairman Jay Allen. "The players are certainly used to that,and we've had to deal with that over the years too."

Wet weather cut short Monday's pro am -- a first tee fundraiser -- but golfers still hit the greens to take in the course at Pinnacle Country Club.

The first year of the tournament in 2007 was a washout, called after just one round thanks to rain delays, Allen expects the weather to clear up in time for Friday's official start.

"There's a chance of some isolated showers I think toward the end of the week, but as of now the weekend forecast looks really good," he says.

Allen says temperatures in the nineties are the bigger concern.

"We do what we can to make it a pleasant experience," he says. "I don't think it will be a big heat like it was last year, but we are doing some things to try to make it a pleasant experience."

Bleachers will be covered for the first time, and visitors can get a free cooling towel or visit shade stations set up around the course.

"People can stop and cool off that way and we'll be selling bottled water for a dollar which is quitea bit less than we have sold that in the past," he says.

The biggest priority this year is making sure the tournament is a fun experience for spectators, Allen says.

"Golf fans come out for sure, but we want families to come out here and people that may not know anything about golf, and just have a good time," he says. 
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