Social media makes for fantastic Friday at PGA Championship

By John Kim, PGA.com Coordinating Producer

KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. -- The PGA Championship, through the eyes of social media, had an exciting, dramatic and eventful Friday.  Tweets, Facebook comments, and other social media provided updates, analysis, predictions and support for the world's best players as they took on one of the world's toughest courses in blustery and sometimes wet conditions.

Before one tee ball was hit, the Ocean Course was the subject of a flurry of tweets as Kiawah Island was deluged with a strong overnight storm. More than two inches of rain fell on some parts of the island, though a well-draining golf course and the hard work of a tremendous grounds crew meant there would be no delays in starting.

Kiawah's own Twitter account got our attention before we even arrived at the course. 

From Kiawah Island (@Kiawah_Island) on Twitter: Yup, dropped quite a bit of rain on the course #pgachamp RT @AMcKellar17: That was a doozie of a storm last night

From Cameron Proctor (@cameronprocter) on Twitter: Storm thrashes Kiawah last night. So heavy, woke me up. Gonna be much tougher today. Morning run, then out to follow @RCabreraBello #GOLOW

It woke a number of people up, Cameron. But through it all, play started on time. And just as play began, so did the wind. 

From Larry Washburn on Facebook: "Let the wind be your friend."

Well sure, Larry, I don't mind it a bit.  But the players might.  One Facebook friend relayed an oldie but goodie to help the players cope.

From Glenn Allen Carswell on Facebook: "I’d keep playing. I don’t think the heavy stuff’s going to come down for quite a while.”

Interestingly, the heat, humidity, and the wind weren't just the subject of jokes from fans -- even the players got into the act.  After Vijay Singh pulled off an impressive 3-under 69, Tour star Rickie Fowler tweeted out:

@RickieFowlerPGA: "Not sure where @VijaySinghGolf was playing today #impressive"

The conditions were so influential that "wind" showed up on our leaderboard on the PGA.com Social Caddy, which features a leaderboard of the top 10 tweeted terms and names surrounding the PGA Championship.  In fact, not-so-humbly, our official hashtag of #PGAChamp was highly utilized -- even leading in mentions for the early part of the day.

But once afternoon play started, the race was on -- for second place.  In the social media world -- whether on Facebook, Instagram, Viddy or Twitter -- the runaway leader in social buzz was ... wait for it ... can you guess? ..."Tiger Woods."

From the moment he first stepped onto the first tee, with both television and PGA.com's featured pairing stream on him for every shot -- Woods dominated the social media world in much the same way he was dominating the extremely tough Ocean Course. With more than 10,000 mentions tracked via the Social Caddy, Tiger more than tripled the next closest player mentions -- Rory McIlroy. 

--Michael Waters (@Mikedakwik): Tiger woods leads the pga championship. No magic required. If the ocean breeze keeps howling thru the weekend, few can hang with him.

--David Hank Brown (@dhbrownsports): US Men's Basketball winning easily. Usain Bolt fastest man alive. Michael Phelps greatest swimmer. Tiger Woods best golfer. 2008 again?

--Will Bryan (@willwbryan): All is right with the world once again.... Tiger Woods is leading in a major!!!

Rory, John Daly, Rickie Fowler and Carl Pettersson were the top mentioned players -- and #PGAChamp did finish a respectable second. 

With thousands of engagements on our Facebook page (now more than 156,000 fans) and our Twitter account (more than 61,000 followers), and excited new fans finding out about the PGA Championship on Instagram, Viddy and Pinterest, the social buzz regarding the season's final major was louder and stronger than ever. And no, it doesn't hurt that Tiger is tied for the lead going into the weekend. 

It's going to be loud, it's going to be exciting and it's going to be buzzing.  And we'll cover it all right here on our PGA.com Social Caddy.