Ryder Cup volunteers rub elbows with PGA stars
September 26, 2012 (MEDINAH, Ill.) (WLS) -- Although the 2012 Ryder Cup does not start until Friday, thousands of spectators once again poured into the Medinah Country Club Wednesday to watch Team USA and Team Europe's practice sessions.
"Unbelievable what these guys can do with the ball. I'm so impressed with their talent," said Tracy Garden, visitor.
"We've got tickets for Friday so we're looking forward to seeing the start of it and getting in the atmosphere," said Andrew Leitch, visitor.
But even those lucky enough to have tickets for the long since sold out event cannot beat the once in a lifetime opportunity the 4,200 Ryder Cup volunteers have.
"It was first come, first serve so anybody in London or Louisville, Kentucky, could set their alarm and sign up to be a volunteer," said Melissa Brady, volunteer coordinator.
They have come from 45 states and 14 countries just for the opportunity to take part in the cup.
"It's like the Super bowl of golf. This is big. It's really big," said Scott Wickman, volunteer.
Dressed in red t-shirts and khaki pants, the volunteers are everywhere around Medinah. At the transportation center those designated as drivers get to rub elbows with the team players.
"I picked up Nicholas Colsaerts, Francisco Molinari, Graeme McDonald, they're very nice people," said Andy Fields, volunteer driver.
But some jobs are definitely more coveted than others, and none more so than the marshals.
"It's crowd control and helping when they get lost, because everyone gets lost out here," said Glenn Taylor, volunteer marshal.
"I'm just looking forward to all the years I've seen Tiger on TV, up close and personal," said Kim Rinella, volunteer marshal.
Because volunteers spend all their time on the green, they get to catch all the action as well.
"I've been to plenty of golf outings and you're always outside the ropes looking in, and you feel like you're a bigger part of it inside the ropes," said Kyle Sauers, volunteer marshal.
local, michelle gallardo
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