BAGUIO CITY – Even with the expected opening of the city’s golf courses at the end of the month, the second staging of the Junior Fil-Am Golf Tournament has already been canceled due to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.
“It’s already canceled,” said Andrew Pinero of the Baguio Country Club (BCC), which co-hosts the event with neighbor Camp John Hay (CJH) golf course.
The event is a pet project of co-chairs Anthony de Leon of BCC and his CJH counterpart Tim Allen that saw more than 80 players including the girls’ national team that dominated the inaugural staging in June last year.
The junior Fil-Am golf is also an off-shoot of the regular Fil-Am Golf Tournament which celebrated its 75th year in December 2019.
The junior counterpart is a beneficiary of the world’s biggest and oldest amateur golf tournament that draws more than 1,400 golfers in more than two weeks of action.
The participants to the junior Fil-Am practically played for free as costs were charged from the income generated from the regular Fil-Am golf.
The par-61 BCC and par-69 CJH golf courses have been closed as early as March 17 when the whole island of Luzon was placed under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) by President Rodrigo Duterte to stop the spread of the virus.
Last May 11, Mayor Benjamin Magalong during the regular city council session said he had talks with the managers of BCC, CJH, and Pinewood golf courses on Marcos Highway prior to the downscaling of the ECQ to general community quarantine (GCQ) by Saturday, May 16.
“In two weeks baka magbubukas na mga golf courses (In two weeks, the golf courses might already open),” Magalong told councilors, some of whom are golfers.
“We will be adopting measures from the PGA (Professional Golfers Association) including no caddy,” Magalong said.
Magalong said that caddies will only carry bags but will maintain distance from the player they caddy, adding that there will be no locker rooms, and players cannot avail of food as the restaurants will be closed.
“Golfers will just play and leave,” he added.
He told the golfer-councilors to ready their clubs by the first week of June.
Magalong said that by the end of the month some sports will be allowed like running and even Zumba, where enthusiasts are required to observe a five-meter distance.
“Unti-unti nating buksan (We will take it slow). But then there will be no crowd-drawing sports events yet,” he added, referring to basketball and volleyball, among others. (PNA)