Adam Fields picked up a trophy in Iowa (Justin Rust, Sioux City Journal photo)
Like the rest of life, amateur golf is trying to re-emerge from a shutdown forced by the coronavirus pandemic. April was practically a lost month, but we are starting to see some events being played, often under very different conditions than before.
Related: Is this the only amateur golf tournament being played this April?
Here are some of the few places where amateur golf made its comeback this past weekend:
Sioux City, Iowa
Here at AmateurGolf.com, we help players find tournaments, and tournaments find players. Case in point: Ryan Terry
(Nashville, Tenn.), who won the Florida Azalea Amateur in the last tournament played before the pandemic shut everything down. Feeling good about his game and itching to get back out to compete, he scoured the website to find any tournament that might still be playing.
Related: Florida Azalea: under extreme precautions, Terry prevails by one
"I like to compete as much as I can, I’ve been trying to play as much as I can the last couple of years especially," Terry told the Sioux City Journal
. "Earlier this year I was putting together a schedule for the year with a lot of things being canceled so I’ve been looking online for tournaments in May that were still happening."
He found one a few states over: the Tri-State Masters
"I saw this one on AmateurGolf.com
and called the pro shop. They told me they were still having it so I signed up and called my college roommate (Dustin Wilder) and he came to play with me."
Related: Proof-of-concept: Ryan Terry uses AG to help continue his quest
The Tri-State Masters gets its name from the fact that the three-round tournament is played in three different states (South Dakota, Nebraska, and Iowa). This year, however, all three rounds were played at Green Valley Golf Club in Sioux City, Iowa.
For two rounds, Terry looked like he was heading for his second tournament win in a row (with a pandemic shutdown in between), shooting rounds of 68-67 to take a three-shot lead over two players. While he managed to hold off his closest pursuers, he didn't see past-champion Adam Fields coming.
With cooler temperatures and high winds moving in, Fields posted the low round of the day by five shots, a 68, to come from six behind and catch Terry, forcing a playoff.
In a steady rain, Terry three-putted the first playoff hole, allowing Fields to two-putt from the fringe for his second Tri-States victory in three years.
Fields, a 32-year-old deputy sheriff, won the 2018 event with an 8-shot comeback on the final day.
"By no stretch of the imagination did I ever give up going into today", said Fields to the Sioux City Journal
. "I found a little something on the range that helped me be more aggressive as the day went along."
Now he looks forward to becoming a father for the first time this summer.
This is the kind of story that we've missed during our shared hiatus from golf, and we're looking forward to much more as golf continues to "reopen".
After seeing its first event postponed to the end of May, the Greater Kalamazoo Golf Association opened their season with their Spring Medal
which was played at Milham Park Golf Course in Kalamazoo.
Nick Carbary won a three-man playoff for the Open Division title, defeating Billy Nelson and Luke Pelak after the three players shot 147 for 36 holes. Eric Cleasby won the Senior Division by three shots after shooting 151.
Among the rules changes for the tournament, all flagsticks remained in the hole, bunker rakes were removed (with lift, clean and place in the bunker on "undisturbed sand"), and a player's scorecard was only signed by the marker with verbal verification from the player. Players were encouraged to leave the course immediately after the round, and all scores were displayed on the association website.
The Wichita Golf Association opened their season with their Four-Ball Championship
, after it was postponed by two weeks. Two rounds of qualifying at Crestview CC (South course) determined flights for Sunday's final round.
108 players (54 teams) teed off on Friday, and results have not yet been posted.
The Milwaukee County Public Links Association has been operating since 1934 and a little pandemic isn't going to slow them down. They opened up their season on schedule with their Spring Championship
at Grant Park Golf Course in South Milwaukee. A full field of 75 players teed off.
Unfortunately the weather didn't cooperate on Sunday and the final round had to be cancelled. But at least they are back.
In Utah, amateur golf actually returned weeks before anywhere else, with a string of one-day events which continued this weekend with the Weber County Senior Classic in Ogden, the Glen Eagle Amateur in Syracuse, the Bountiful Ridge Amateur in Bountiful, the Canyon Hills 2-Man Best Ball in Nephi, and the Sanpete County Open in Sterling.
As more and more events show that they can be safely conducted, expect the list of tournaments being played to keep growing. Many more places around the country are scheduled to "reopen" next week for Memorial Day weekend, followed by the first state association events to return, in Colorado, Arizona and Connecticut.
As always, AmateurGolf.com will be here to cover the amateur golf that is being played, and help you stay on top of the schedule updates so, like Ryan Terry and so many others, you can build your playing schedule for 2020.
Related: Fall calendar becoming crowded as tournaments get rescheduled
Related: List of amateur tournaments affected by the coronavirus outbreak