How COVID-19 changed THE PLAYERS Championship

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. — THE PLAYERS Championship is underway this week in Ponte Vedra Beach.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic making things a little different with attendance at 20 percent capacity (about 10,000 fans a day), organizers say the tournament’s impact on the community will stay the same.

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THE PLAYERS’ executive director Jared Rice says the tournament benefits over 300 local charities and organizations throughout Northeast Florida.

It’s a tournament that draws the best golfers in the world, fans from all corners of the world, and over a thousand volunteers.

“It’s a wonderful experience,” Virginia Hall, volunteer and president of Ascension St. Vincent’s Foundation, said.

Hall has been volunteering at THE PLAYERS for six years. She’s also the president of Ascension St. Vincent’s Foundation, which she says wouldn’t be able to serve Northeast Floridians without THE PLAYERS.

Using money from THE PLAYERS, Hall’s team was able to buy a mobile outreach van, giving free healthcare to people in five Northeast Florida communities.

“I just want to give back. They give so much back to our community, I just want to give them my time to thank them for all they do,” Hall added.

THE PLAYERS’ executive director Jared Rice says this year is a little different with capacity at just 20 percent thanks to the pandemic.

“There will be impacts, but we considered how can we safely deliver the tournament in a way in which we can continue to give back to the community,” Rice said.

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He’s still expecting a good year.

Rice adds that THE PLAYERS has given over $100,000,000 to Northeast Florida communities since the tournament’s beginning.