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Players Championship changes help lead to record attendance, official says

Extra food, drink, entertainment venues a hit with fans

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Those who questioned whether the absence of Tiger Woods and other top golfers would affect attendance at The Players Championship got their answer Monday.

Officials at The Players said the tournament had record attendance last week, up 3 percent from 2013.

Matt Rapp, executive director of The Players, attributed the boost to the addition of extra food, drink and entertainment venues.

Alex Montanez of the Gourmet Aviator food truck said he was consistently busy and estimated a few thousand people stopped by. He said The Players provided extra refrigeration and storage areas to help keep the food trucks from running low on supplies.

"I think the event was fantastic," Montanez said "I think it was a great success."

VIDEO: Today is not only about The Players it's about moms decked out in pink for breast cancer awareness and families snaked their way around to the front of the clubhouse to take complimentary Mother's Day photos at the winner's podium.

Montanez and others spent Monday packing up.

As crews circled TPC Sawgrass cleaning, packing and trucking equipment off the golf course, Rapp said the process of breaking things down takes about two months.

He said 375 miles worth of television cable lined the greens and fairways on Sunday as German golfer Martin Kaymer secured a dramatic twilight victory. A day later the cables were all rolled up.

Dustin Warner of production support company Klance Unlimited, which set up the Michelob Ultra Bar, said feedback from fans on the tournament changes was mostly positive.

"Even people who had been here and live here, year in and year out, they were giving positive comments and feedback, like 'Wow, they're making it bigger and better,' and 'It's unique year after year how they keep making it bigger,' and 'What's it going to be like next year?'"