Co-leader Travis Vick (University of Texas photo)
We have already reported on one tournament that was played this month
, the Graham City Amateur in a small town of 15,000 located between Greensboro and Durham. The tournament did everything possible to keep the 60 player field safe, and we will be posting a podcast with champion (and the course's GM) Tony Byerly shortly.
In North Carolina, courses never closed during the pandemic. And while things chug away fairly close to normal at Graham's public course (Southwick) many North Carolina resort destinations like Pinehurst have suffered greatly since their revenue relies on tourism to thrive. (Pinehurst, it should be noted, is contributing to COVID-19 relief by auctioning off some really unique experiences. We applaud their effort.)
In Texas, courses are also open for play, but social distancing has caused the tradition of caddies to also suffer an economic hit. Without jobs, the "looper" -- just like the restaurant server and so many other professions -- can't earn a living.
Maridoe Golf Club in Carrollton (north of Dallas) is hosting the Maridoe Samaritan Fund Invitational this week The fund benefits caddies, and the tournament is providing a much-needed chance to compete for pros looking forward to getting back on tour and collegiate players who missed most of their spring season (and a chance to play for the national title) due to the COVID-19 epidemic.
And there is plenty of rust to be shaken off.
For players missing their frequent checks of the PGA Tour and Collegiate/Amateur leaderboards (we hope you do so
on AmateurGolf.com) there is a live leaderboard. It currently shows former Texas standout turned pro Scottie Scheffler
tied with current UT player Travis Vick
at 4-under 140.
Scheffler blistered the course (could have been some pent-up demand) in the first round Tuesday with a 66, but slid to a 74 today. His co-leader Vick was more consistent with a couple of rounds of 2-under 70. But Vick did have a sweet run of four-straight birdies in the first round starting at No. 3 and should be a strong contender for the title in tomorrow's final round. Vick, from Houston, had a top-10 at the Amer-Ami Invitational among his three starts before Texas' spring golf campaign was cut short. He is currently ranked No. 78 in the Golfweek/AmateurGolf.com World Amateur Ranking
Former Alabama standout, Davis Riley
is a stroke back after today's round of even par left him at 3-under 141. Tony Romo
(do we even have to say Cowboy's legend anymore?) is T37 after rounds of 78 and 80. He is a stroke in front of former PGA Tour winner and longtime Dallas resident Paul Stankowski, who posted rounds of 80 and 79.
Jordan Spieth was scheduled to compete, but the word is that he could only play as a marker because of prior commitments.View results for Maridoe Invitational
ABOUT THE Maridoe Invitational
Charity tournament with pros and amateurs to benefit
out of work caddies. Elite flight with pros and top
amateurs; gross flight as well.
View Complete Tournament Information