By John Kim, PGA.com coordinating Producer
JOHNS CREEK, Ga. -- On a wild and surprising opening day of the 93rd PGA Championship, PGA.com's social media presence captured all the sights, sounds and feel of "Glory's Last Shot" like no other championship.
Enlisting an army of PGA Professional correspondents and monitoring the "buzz" from golf fans, Facebook and Twitter were lit up with people's enthusiastic and strong thoughts on the action of the day. And with all the action, there were a lot of thoughts.
Actually, before the action started, the fans were showing their excitement on twitter. We noticed.
@SeinLanguage7: 1 more hour until I watch #Tiger go for his 15th major on @PGA_com ! So Excited! Great way to pass the time at work
And for those not near a computer, we had an answer for their needs, too.
why yes, yes there is. go to pga.com or look for in your app store. RT @antoniosujeevan: @PGA_com is there an iPhone app for this years PGA
Our PGA Professionals were up bright and early, and setting the scene. In particular, Josh Nichols, PGA Head Professional from nearby TPC Sugarloaf, was manning the driving range and had a first-hand look where few did. Of course, we were fortunate he would share his morning with us.
@joshnicholsTPC: Tiger headed to the range right......now!
@joshnicholsTPC: Furyk & Fluff arrive at the range. One of them was holding the bag on the cart....and it wasn't Fluff. Ha!
@joshnicholsTPC: Robert Garrigus thanking every volunteer, including me for "donating our time this week". #classact #pgachamp
As our morning marquee group of Tiger Woods, Padraig Harrington and Davis Love III teed off, the social media world followed along with them. When Woods got off to a hot start, making birdie on the 14th (his fifth hole of the day), the crowd was anticipating something special.
John Crumbley, PGA - That's the type of Tiger roar from a gallery we haven't heard in a long time.
But Woods found water on his tee shot on the 15th, the twitterverse of PGA.com sensed something bigger was amiss.
@ChawkinsPGA - Bottom line is Tiger must get more reps to return to form. No one can play top notch golf when you don't play not even Tiger!
After Woods carded a disappointing 77, much of the attention then turned to young Rory McIlroy. And of course, McIlroy's misadventure at the third hole was spotted quickly by one of our eyes on the ground.
John Crumbly, PGA - that wrist injury seems serious. I hope he can continue, but I wouldn't bet on it.
But he did continue and continue well. Just like our reporters and fans. Our reporters continually filed tweets, updates and nuggets that made provided some insight, analysis and even levity to the very serious matter of trying to win the Wanamaker Trophy. Morover, those on twitter who took part in the conversation using the official hashtag (#pgachamp) created a robust community of fans engaged in substantive, smart and interesting banter no matter where the golf fan logged on.
The totality of the efforts seemed appreciated by many as evidenced by this tweet:
@nicholaseber: Great #PGACHAMP experience created by @PGA_com. Social media integration, interactive video and live blogging.
The live chat that took place all day gave visitors a chance to ask real time questions to PGA.com staff about the championship, the players and anything else that crossed their minds. A nice surprise was a visit by PGA President Allen Wronowski, who was gracious enough to answer fan questions for half an hour.
Also a great part of the social media coverage was a new product for PGA.com this year, Snap and Share. Snap and Share allowed viewers to clip video highlights and then share them via their own social networks, showing off their skills as sports prodcuers and even more, as dedicated fans.
The dedicated home to the PGA Championship -- PGA.com -- was as strong as ever, but the extended reach shown by the social media world made the opening round of the PGA Championship even more compelling. And it's sure to only get better over the next three days.
With fans being allowed to have mobile devices with them in the galleries and more savvy “reporters” reaching out across the course for dedicated coverage, fans are enjoying the action in a closer and more comprehensive way. Golf, in all of its “glory,” has never been closer to the fan.