PGA Champions thank Sanford workers for help with COVID-19 testing

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Golfers on the PGA Champions tour took time today to thank the Sanford lab workers who did all of the COVID testing for the tournament last year.

“Working in a laboratory, it’s a very thankless job,” said Courtney Stark with Sanford Health.

But not since going out on the PGA tour. Sanford mobile testing lab supervisor Courtney Stark visited 37 states in the last year and got plenty of thank you’s.

“A lot of the towns that we went to, they really appreciated it when the tour came in because that brings in the tourism. A lot of these places didn’t have any tourism and they thrive off of it, so they were really happy to see us there,” said Mobile testing lab supervisor Courtney Stark.

Today it was golfers like Bernhard Langer who got to thank lab workers during a special breakfast in their honor.

“We are very grateful for the people in the laboratories, the drivers who drove the trucks from place to place. We couldn’t have done it without them and it was fantastic for them to dedicate their time and make sacrifices for probably over a year to do this for all of us on the PGA tour ,” said PGA golfer Bernhard Langer.

Langer is also proud of the role professional golf played in helping the world try to return to normal.

“There was no football, no basketball, no baseball, no soccer, and so I think the people around the whole world were craving live sports,” said Bernhard.

But it wasn’t just lab workers who brought back professional golf. Tournament host Andy North says the players cooperated with every Covid protocol.

“I mean that fact that we did 30 thousand plus tests and of that, there where maybe 20 positives, that’s amazing. I give the players an awful lot of credit,” said tournament host Andy North.

The testing partnership between the PGA and Sanford Health created some brand new golf fans as well.

“A lot of the people this morning talked about they weren’t golfers and they couldn’t have cared less and now they’re following golf, they cheer for guys because they were nice to them,” said North.

“I wasn’t a golf fan prior to starting this but I have a new appreciation for it now,” said Stark.

The PGA doesn’t require COVID-19 testing at tour events right now.

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