WARRICK COUNTY, Ind. (WEHT) – The first round tees off at the Korn Ferry Tour Championship at Victoria National with something missing: the fans.
Golf tournaments are mostly quieter than other sporting events, but this year’s championship feels much more quiet than usual as spectators are left following along at home. For players and volunteers still at Victoria National, this year’s edition has a different feel and different rules.
“It’s definitely a lot different,” said Cody Winn, who is volunteering at the tournament this week. It’s the same tournament. But with fewer people watching every putt or drive, it feels different.
“This is not our typical Thursday of tournament week,” said Laureen Cates, Tournament Director.
“It’s usually a little pandemonium each year with the crowds and a lot more volunteers on the course usually,” adds Winn, who is helping set up scorers walking along with players. He says there’s more sanitizing of reused equipment such as radios, and more items like radio headsets that cannot be used by more than one person.
“It hasn’t been too bad seeing as where this late into the pandemic that it’s something you expect anymore. It is a huge change from years past, but this being far along, I think everyone expects that’s how things are going to go,” says Winn.
Cates says players and certain volunteers who are near players have covid tests before they were allowed to be at Victoria National, including during Tuesday’s pro-am, and reports no positive tests as of this afternoon. They’re also promoting mask usage for those unable to physicially distance, following Indiana’s Back On Track plan, and switched to more grab and go meals.
“When we looked at the dining menu for both players and caddies, we wanted it to be things that they can take with them, maybe offsite to a location where they can socially distance safely from other players. So, grab-and-gos and things they can take offsite with them,” she explained.
Cates also says the players and others have been doing a good job of maintaining a bit of a bubble as they go from tournament to tournament.
(This story was originally published on August 27, 2020)