SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The third Sanford International golf tournament is in the books. Organizers say it was a huge success, despite a rainy start and the uncertainty of COVID-19 restrictions.
Crews are busy today tearing down the Sanford International, but it’s the unpaid workers who really make this event a success. Organizers say 700 people volunteered to work this year. That’s down from previous years, but the volunteers made up for it by putting in more hours.
“They really are the backbone of this event. You can’t do all of the things and give all the money back to charity that we do, without the work they do by volunteering and being out here,” Sanford International Assistant Tournament Director Davis Trosin said.
And while the final numbers aren’t in yet, Trosin says there should be more money for charities this year thanks to a new fundraiser that had fans make donations for every birdie.
“Our birdies for change program raised $100,000 this year and that was a first year initiative and that’s just one part of the charitable giving that we have,” said Trosin.
The Sanford International is in the third year of a five year contract, but officials are working with the PGA and the Minnehaha Country Club to keep the event going beyond 2022.
“We want to see it continue. There are conversations that are ongoing with the board of the club and it’s membership to make sure that there’s an appetite from Minnehaha’s stand point to continue to be the host venue for the tournament,” Sanford Executive Vice President Micah Alberson said.
Sanford says it’s proud to have held the first golf event with fans since the start of Covid 19 and that other tournaments will now follow suit.
“I think word travels fast. Hopefully, our event shows other PGA tour events that this can be done safely.” said Trosin.
Trosin says every player tested negative for Covid 19 so they can all go to Pebble Beach next week.