Honda Classic sees record attendance

Even without crowd magnets Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy playing on the weekend, The Honda Classic drew a record-breaking number of spectators this year thanks to picture-perfect weather conditions, organizers said Monday.

Sergio Garcia reacts to putting his drive in the fairway on the 6th hole during the final round of the Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida on February 28, 2016. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

Sergio Garcia reacts to putting his drive in the fairway on the 6th hole during the final round of the Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida on February 28, 2016. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

This year’s week-long event attracted 202,128 spectators to PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, beating the pervious record set in 2014 – the last time the tournament had perfect weather. The 2014 tournament drew 193,052 people.

The weather was a reversal from last year’s tournament, when heavy rains and winds canceled a day of play and forced a Monday finish. This year’s attendance was 36,928 higher than the weather-plagued 2015 event, which drew 165,200 spectators.

“This is a tribute to the connection that The Honda Classic has made with the community,” Honda Classic Executive Director Kenneth R. Kennerly said. “People enjoy coming out to the tournament and they have a great time once they are here. It really has become the place to be every year and people keep bringing more of their friends.”

The annual tournament is the largest sporting event in Palm Beach County — drawing more spectators than any other game or athletic competition.

Organizers estimate the event pumps roughly $45 million into the local economy each year.