The PGA was one of the first major sports organizations to come back to our screens, since the outbreak of COVID-19. We even got to see football legends Peyton Manning and Tom Brady take on 18 holes. Now, golf is starting to get back into the swing of things this week. After three months, the newly revamped PGA schedule continues in Hilton Head, South Carolina at the RBC Heritage.
PGA predictions & missing players
This tournament consists of not only experienced players but also amateurs. It’s a star-studded event on a challenging course. The favorite to win is none other than number one ranked Rory McIlroy. The other two contenders following closely behind him are Bryson DeChambeau and Justin Thomas.
Even with these big names leading the charge, there is a notable absence from many international players. Projected winner McIlroy spoke out against several European players who declined to make the trip to compete. Many international players including Adam Scott and Michael Fitzpatrick felt that the restrictions placed on international travelers is too much of a hassle. McIlroy, himself, is from Ireland. He understands the travel burdens but stresses the importance of dedication to your career and the want to play.
“If I were in their shoes and I was asked to come over to the States and shelter in place or quarantine for two weeks before these tournaments, I would have done that. Because if you really care about your career and care about moving forward, you should be here. ” – Rory McIlroy
However, the European Tour will start up again in the next month with the first events being held in Australia.
No cases & no crowds
One thing obviously missing from the golf course is the fans. Even though they remain quiet for most of the tournament silently standing next to the green, there is notable energy absent. Players who would normally feel the roars from the crowd after the first tee shot on each hole or when they sank a putt for birdie, will have to find new ways to rejuvenate energy among themselves. ESPN golf reporter Michael Collins discussed the lack of cheers on the course.
Sports may be back but under heavy restrictions. Miraculously, not a single player has tested positive for the coronavirus. Players are just happy to be back.
Sound Courtesy of ABC Newscall