Ally Challenge will be played without fans

Published: Jul. 1, 2020 at 2:42 PM EDT
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GRAND BLANC TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WJRT) - The third Ally Challenge at Warwick Hills Golf & Country Club will take place as scheduled, but no fans or corporate hospitality will be allowed during the competition rounds.

The PGA Tour Champions event is scheduled for July 31 to Aug. 2 at the Grand Blanc Township venue. Fans can watch all three rounds on the Golf Channel, but no fans will be allowed on the course.

Additionally, no special events, including the Ally Challenge Community Concert, will take place during the tournament. But the pro-am rounds scheduled for July 29 and 30 will take place as scheduled with social distancing requirements and other coronavirus prevention measures in place.

The decision not to allow fans is based on Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Jue 25 order limiting outdoor gatherings to 100 people in Genesee County and other areas of Michigan at Phase 4 of the MI Safe Start plan. Organizers hope to bring back fans and community events for the 2021 Ally Challenge Presented by McLaren.

“We are looking forward to hosting the third installment of The Ally Challenge in just a few weeks,” said Andrea Brimmer, chief marketing and public relations officer, Ally. “While it will look a bit different this year, the tournament’s overall impact on this community through charitable giving and boosting the local economy remains its ultimate purpose. We can’t wait for the greatest fans in golf to join us again at Warwick Hills in 2021.”

McLaren CEO Phil Incarnati said caddies for each of the golfers will wear bibs bearing the name of a health system clinical professional to honor their work during the coronavirus pandemic.

Ally Challenge organizers still hope the event raises significant money for charity this year even without fans. The tournament has raised nearly $2.4 million over the first two years for charities in the greater Flint area.

The United Way of Genesee County is the 2020 tournament’s primary beneficiary for the second straight year.

“The United Way of Genesee County is grateful for this continued partnership,” said James Gaskin, CEO, United Way of Genesee County. “Last year with dollars raised from the tournament, the United Way supported 17 programs working to help families become financially independent. In addition, tournament patrons helped assemble more than 300 comfort kits for children in crisis. We look forward to continuing to invest these dollars in multiple programs throughout Genesee County meeting the needs of our most vulnerable residents.”

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