SAN MARTIN -- The weather was perfect. The big crowds still stayed away.
But organizers of the Frys.com Open remain optimistic that their tournament will continue to grow into a top PGA Tour attraction.
Tournament president Duke Butler expected this week's attendance to fall short of the 75,000 a year ago, when Tiger Woods was the star attraction. But while saying he did not have precise figures Sunday, he acknowledged the number probably would be shy of the 35,000 who showed up in 2010, the first year the tournament was held at CordeValle.
"The tournament has such a bright future that we all have a little bounce in our step," Butler said.
Two changes for next year inspire that confidence. The PGA has reconfigured its schedule, and the Frys.com Open will be the first stop on the 2013-14 tour rather than a part of a shortened fall series. And FedExCup points will be awarded, making it likely more high-profile golfers will attend.
The 2013 tournament at CordeValle will be Oct. 7-13, one week after the President's Cup in Ohio, between 12 American golfers and 12 international golfers not from Europe. Butler said Ernie Els, who will represent South Africa, has already said he will be at Frys.com next year and could bring his teammates with him.
The tournament faces tough competition in October, but Butler said Frys.com
"The weather's ideal and it's a date that's not pursued by other tournaments," he said. "With it beginning the season, Fry's believes we can really build this into one of the best professional golf tournaments in the world."
Els ended up fourth a year ago, saw his game steadily improve and captured the 2012 British Open. And even though he didn't reach the top 10 at CordeValle, he said benefited from this year's experience.
"This was a lot like last year," Els said. "I was able to find something and I found something again." Els didn't spell out what he found this year, but it could have been his putting, as he talked about that aspect of his game.
He also looked ahead to next year, when the Frys.com Open will be the opening stop on the tour's 2013-14 schedule. "That will be a really great field," Els said. "More of the top guys will come."
"I feel pressure every week, wanting to play well regardless of where it is in the season," Cantlay, 20, said. "Other than that, I don't feel any added." Cantlay struggled Sunday, shooting a 75 that gave him 280 for the tournament.
Cantlay got to know CordeValle while he was still in school, first as the qualifying course for his college team, then while leading the Bruins to the 2010 Gifford Collegiate Championship here.