Wichita Open personnel and players adjust to COVID-19 precautions
WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Normally, Crestview Country Club is packed with people during the Wichita Open, but in this new COVID-19 era, tournament personnel said the course feels like a ghost town this year.
After nearly three decades volunteering at the Wichita Open, head marshal for holes 13-18 Brad Biehler said not having a crowd to add an exciting atmosphere to this tournament kind of takes half the fun out of his job.
“It’s just been much more subdued. Without the fans, there’s not a lot of energy out here. We like to have a party and that energy and that craziness that loudness is not here this year,” Biehler said.
Biehler said its fun watching the fan comradery that forms on holes 17 and 18 during a normal year.
“Everybody feeds off of energy and when people are enjoying a good round of golf and really getting into it and enthused to watch these guys make some amazing shots and then the crowd just erupts when they do, it’s just electric,” said Biehler.
Golfers like tournament leader Jared Wolfe said the Wichita Open isn’t the same without fans.
Current first place golfer, Jared Wolfe said, “It’s been strange, it’s been real weird, especially here. The 17th hole par 3 gets crazy and that was still the loudest moment I’ve ever had in my life was two years ago there and today I made a 30-foot putt there and it didn’t feel the same. Usually you’ve got fans going crazy. We’re just happy to be playing.”
Wolfe isn’t the only golfer looking to close out the final stretch of the men’s year with a win.
The Wichita open concludes with the final round Sunday morning.
Current results from the Wichita Open can be found on it’s leaderboard.
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