Golfer Chris Couch drank 25 bottles of water and three bottles of Gatorade on Friday at the second round of the AT&T National, and that still wasn’t enough to save him from the intense heat. Couch sought medical attention on the 15th hole for heat-related symptoms. He finished his round all right but marveled afterward at the weather conditions at Bethesda’s Congressional Country Club.
The temperature at 4 p.m., during Couch’s round, reached 100 degrees with a heat index of 109.
“That was one of the hottest ones I’ve ever played,” said Couch, who has played in 343 events on the PGA and Nationwide tours. “I couldn’t get enough water in me. You just sweat it right out.”
Almost 40 people at Congressional were treated for heat-related symptoms and cardiac issues Friday, Montgomery County Fire and Rescue assistant chief Scott Goldstein said
Some were among the 40 people that requested assistance getting off the course due to the heat, Goldstein said. Three were transported off site to receive additional medical attention.
Montgomery County Fire and Rescue increased the amount of its personnel from 50 on Thursday to 70 on Friday because of the heat, Goldstein said. The staff will stay that size on Saturday because the forecasted high is 99.
“Drink tons of fluids,” Goldstein cautioned. “If you don’t prepare before you arrive, you’re already behind the curve.”
Couch alerted medical personnel on the course because he experienced an “extreme” headache for the previous five holes, he said. He also felt as though he would black out each time he bent over.
“I started getting some chills in that heat, so I ended up calling over medical just to check my blood pressure and make sure I was OK,” said Couch, who missed the cut at 8-over par. “My blood pressure was a little high, but they said: ‘You’re OK. Just try to keep drinking.’ So I did.”
Tiger Woods, on the other hand, believes he has an advantage in the heat as he looks to make up a five-shot deficit entering the third round.
“I’ve played some good tournaments over the years in Malaysia and other places where it’s hot, and certainly fitness, running all those miles and lifting all those weights, it comes into play when you get days like this and consecutive days like this,” Woods said.
Tournament volunteer seriously hurt
A tournament volunteer suffered life-threatening injuries Friday morning when he was cut by a nylon rope while driving a golf cart, Goldstein said. He was taken to Suburban Hospital, and his condition Friday evening was not known.
The rope cut arteries on both sides of the man’s neck, according to a doctor on the scene who was quoted by the Washington Post.
Nylon ropes are strung all over the grounds at Congressional to mark where tournament patrons are allowed to go.