Will the Shaw Charity Classic get the green light to play?
CALGARY -- Golf lovers and players are hoping an annual tournament will go ahead despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Shaw Charity Classic is one of the most popular events on the Champions tour. Players love that thousands flock to the Canyon Meadows Golf and Country Club to watch them play.
Scott McCarron has won the event twice and says he’d love to make it three in a row.
"We’ll see you at Canyon Meadows in August where I’ll go for my third Cowboy hat."
But McCarron may not get that chance this year. With the pandemic still ongoing, the tournament is up in the air.
Sean Van Kesteren, the executive director of the Shaw Classic, says they definitely want to play.
"We’re sort of waiting to go. And (we're) ready to go but we won’t know for a while yet."
It’s sounding more and more like golf will be back but they’ll play events with no fans. Van Kesteren says he doesn’t think that would work here.
"For us if we can’t have an event with fans, I don’t think we would move forward."
Fans are a critical part of the tournament, he says, because they help raise money for 215 youth-based children’s charities. Van Kesteren says that’s what this event is all about.
"It’s about community. It’s about helping the less fortunate," he said. "Unless we can make it a truly community event, it just wouldn’t feel right and i think it just wouldn’t make sense."
But there is some good news. Even if the tournament isn’t a go this year, the Birdies for Kids charity program will continue to benefit.
"We’re going to go with that program. We’re going to support that program and support these charities regardless if the tournament happens or not. So, come August, those charities will be getting cheques from us."
Four organizations will also enjoy thousands of dollars in support from the Shaw Charity Classic's patron group; The Mustard Seed and Calgary Food Bank will each receive $40,000 while Meals on Wheels and Out in the Cold will receive $10,000 each.
Over its seven-year run, the Shaw Charity Classic has raised more than $48 million.