SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - When the golfers tee off at the WM Phoenix Open this year, they might be dodging rain just like the fans.
And those behind the scenes are ensuring the course is safe when the storms roll through starting on Tuesday.
At Pebble Beach last week, the PGA event was cut short by a day because the weather was too brutal to play.
Part of the team that helped the PGA make the call is in Scottsdale this week for the WM Phoenix Open.
During some practice rounds at TPC Scottsdale, there were already crowds enjoying some partly cloudy skies.
Tucked away from it all, behind a parking lot and a few trailers, Kyle Koval is setting up a mobile weather station.
"Besides PGA staff, yeah, spectators have no idea I’m here on site," Kyle Koval with DTN Weather said.
DTN Weather is the onsite meteorologist for the PGA Tour. Their focus is on fans.
"First and foremost, public safety, spectator safety. Lightning is a huge threat for us when we’re outdoors," Koval said.
Typically, let’s be honest, in Arizona, it’s not something we have to worry about at the People’s Open.
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"I think frost is our number one concern when we come here in early February. Unfortunately, I think a lot of people probably know the forecast has some rain in it," Koval said.
If lightning were to come during any of the rainfall, he would meet with rules officials and make a call to potentially evacuate the course.
"Really, I’m in the hot seat in a small trailer, and two or three people surrounding me. But really, yes. It’s stressful when it happens. It’s a big call, but I enjoy it at the same time," Koval said.
That decision could impact hundreds of thousands of fans, let alone the players on the course.
That's a lot of pressure to make the right call.
"You know you’re going to be wrong at times. You know there’s going to be people that give you flak for being wrong, but you know what, it’s the nature of the game. We’re not in an easy position, but that’s what makes it fun at the same time," Koval said.
Koval said his main focus for any potential lighting would be Wednesday during the Pro-Am. Even at that, he stressed that lightning chances are low.
Fans won't let rain stop their fun
The round of showers is impacting the rounds on the course.
In the crowd, umbrellas are going up as the rain comes down.
Dozens of locals and visitors from out of town, from places like North Dakota, Kansas City and Boston, are out at TPC Scottsdale despite the forecast.
Admittedly, the weather might not be a hole-in-one, but let’s just say, they aren’t letting this rain on their parade.
They’re here to watch golf – and party.
"I’m from Chicago so this is fantastic. As long as it’s not snowing, I’m happy."
"Just trying to stay dry. That’s the object of this whole thing. Stay dry."
"We’ll have even more fun! I don’t know, just go with the flow."
"I wish it was a little warmer and better weather, but that’s what sweatshirts are for. It’s still good vibes."
"I’m prepared. I got my umbrella. The rain isn’t touching me."
"Not cold. This is a nice spring day. 60 degrees and raining. That’s good with us."
WM Phoenix Open officials say to keep your eyes on the digital signage. This will alert the crowds to either take shelter or even exit if needed as the weather progresses.
So far as of Tuesday afternoon, no messages yet. However, the power of this storm is still ahead.