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Golf fans from across the globe are in Wilmington for BMW Championship

Thousands flock to the Wilmington Country Club Thursday to see some of the world’s best golfers compete in the BMW Championship.

Fans lined up along fairways and took their seats in the stands to see the top-70 PGA players.

Garnett Johnson, of Wilmington, got in early to watch the golfer’s practice on the putting green.

He’s excited to see some young golfers in person, especially Harold Varner III and Rory McIlroy.

“This is huge. To be able to say Wilmington, Delaware is hosting this event, with the players that are here today. It’s actually a big deal. For golf guys like me, it’s a big deal.”

Johnson said it’s a great experience particularly for younger golf fans to see some of the best players in the world.

“This is the kind of stuff that motivates young people to play. It will be etched into a young man or young lady's mind.”

Having been to several PGA events across the country, Johnson said this tournament is top notch.

Richard Doyle of York, PA said he and his wife have been keeping a close eye on the PGA standings and are excited to be in Wilmington for the entire tournament.

“It’s exceeding expectations so far this year, for my wife and I. We’re 64 and 69 and we’ve been all over this course. Of course the weather this year is being pretty nice to us, too. But we’ve just had a ball,” Doyle said.

He said fans are raving about the course and its views.

“Just watching the players, their skill level is so high. But also watching them as human beings interacting with the crowd, interacting with the children, interacting with the amateurs, was very fulfilling to see that going on,” Doyle said.

More than 100,000 people are expected to attend the tournament, which runs through Sunday.

Mark Arehart is an award-winning reporter/producer. Before returning to Delaware, Arehart was a reporter for WKSU and Ideastream Public Media in Northeast Ohio. He previously hosted Morning Edition and covered the arts scene for Delaware Public Media. He has worked for KNKX in Seattle, Kansas Public Radio, and KYUK in Bethel, Alaska.