Evansville Men’s City Golf Tournament tees off amid COVID-19

Defending champion had to pull out due to coronavirus

Evansville Men’s City Golf Tournament tees off amid COVID-19

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - While the Master’s Golf Tournament may be a tradition unlike any other, the Evansville Men’s City Golf Tournament has actually been going on four years longer, with the first iteration of the tournament happening back in 1930.

The 91st edition of the men’s city tourney teed off at Helfrich Hills Golf Course on Saturday morning, but it had a different feel due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The defending champion was not able to play after testing positive for the virus. However, there were plenty of strong contenders, like two-time champion Logan Osborne.

On Hole 10, Osborne putted for birdie, just missing it, but he taps it in for par.

Meanwhile, his playing partner, Memorial High School grad and Michigan freshman Ben Hoagland, also had a chance for birdie, but it just curled away. He also tapped in for par.

Up next, it’s the 2017 champ, Evansville grad Matthew Ladd, draining the par putt.

And then, USI men’s head golf coach Grant Saylor with a beautiful chip that just curls left, and he would keep the string of pars going on Hole 10.

14 News spoke with tournament director Bob Walther, who said the pandemic definitely makes things interesting this year.

“We’re doing everything we can to keep the players distanced properly from each other. We are not exchanging score cards at the end of the round,” Walther said. “We’re reporting scores verbally. we are discouraging players from being inside the clubhouse. we hate that to have the defending champ not play, but that’s part of it this year. we’re doing everything we can to make it a safe golf tournament.”

Here’s a look at the men’s leaderboard after round one:

1. Mark Wehner: -5

T2. Logan Osborne: -3

T2. Justin Drake: -3

T4. Matthew Ladd: -2

T4. David Mills: -2

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