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A much different atmosphere at the 3rd annual Ally Challenge

Published: Jul. 31, 2020 at 6:10 PM EDT
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GRAND BLANC TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WJRT) - Extra safety measures are in place to hinder the spread of COVID-19 at Warwick Hills, as golf pros tee off for the first day of official tournament play in The Ally Challenge. And while the greens won’t be filled with the typical sea of fans, homeowners who live on the course have a front row seat, with nothing blocking their view!

“My colleagues here at Warwick. We made a decision that we’re going to make the best of this, and I think so far we have,” said Janis Rogers, who has lived on the course since 2009.

Rogers typically holds big parties during the Ally Challenge. Neighbors down a ways from her even rent their yards out for fans, but you’ll see none of that this year.

“It’s actually quiet. For the first time, I get the chance to observe the players. I can watch the players tee off,” she said.

The quieter scene is well welcomed by Pat Knoblock. She’s lived on the course for 30 years. She’s also celebrating her 92nd birthday Friday.

“I think it seems well organized. I like it. It’s a controlled crowd,” Knoblock said.

Because of COVID-19, no fans or corporate hospitality are allowed on the course. But fans are what help to pump money into the local economy. Tournament officials are hoping fans still have that giving spirit.

“Hopefully they still will be able to raise the funds for the charities and what not, but it’s definitely a lot quieter,” said Lisa Wolf.

“Although the fans are gone. They money is still there. Their hearts are still there. That’s a win right there,” Rogers added.

The Ally Challenge runs through Sunday, August 2.

Copyright 2020 WJRT. All rights reserved.

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