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JOHNS CREEK: Bigger numbers are better at PGA | Business

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JOHNS CREEK: Bigger numbers are better at PGA
Business

JOHNS CREEK, Ga. -- Normally, of course, lower numbers are better in the game of golf.

But at the 93rd PGA Championship now underway in Johns Creek, higher numbers are often better for the community.

First of all, people...lots of them.

About 50,000 are expected to show up each day for a total of more than 200,000 spectators by Sunday.

They'll be bringing in lots of money -- an estimated $50 million to the local economy.

Twelve-year-old entrepreneur Adam Steinichen was raking in some of that cash on Thursday as he and a partner sold cold drinks out of their backpacks to thirsty spectators in the parking lot.

"We've been here about an hour, and we've probably made almost $100 just off Gatorades and water," he said.

The PGA also means adding even more vehicles to the estimated 50,000 that travel Medlock Bridge Road each day.

But traffic wasn't so bad around the Atlanta Athletic Club on Thursday thanks to the more than 100 shuttle buses taking spectators to and from several satellite parking lots, including a huge one at the Gwinnett Center.

Some numbers that aren't so great are the 90 degree-plus temperatures that make it tough even for former professional athletes.

"I'm glad that I'm retired," said former Atlanta Falcon Chris Doleman.

"I don't think that I could put up with this heat, especially at my age today and try to get out there and play in this stuff; it's pretty brutal," he added.

And how about these numbers: the prize money for the first PGA in 1916 was $2,500, compared to a payout of $7.4 million last year.

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