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Before the sun rose Monday morning, Kingsmill Championship staff and volunteers were scouring the golf course in an effort to prepare it for less than an hour of tournament play.
After rain and thunderstorms forced a more than hour-long delay Sunday, eight golfers had to retake the course Monday morning to officially put a close to the tournament.
The Kingsmill Championship was finished Monday morning in front of a crowd of about 200 people, almost half of whom were volunteers and Kingsmill Resort staff.
Even without the fanfare and packed stands that a Sunday finish would have brought, Kingsmill Resort General Manager Wayne Nooe does not think the morning finish took anything away from the tournament’s overall success.
“It was a great event,” he said. “The fans came out, we had a good response there. We had some really good play. The leaderboard was packed with good players. We would have loved to finish yesterday, but outside of that we’re very happy with how it went.”
Organizing a Monday morning finish presents some unique challenges for tournament staff and volunteers. The final round of play started a 7 a.m., meaning some tournament volunteers had to be at Kingsmill Resort as early as 5 a.m.
On top of having the players taken care of with food, beverages and travel, the course had to be mowed and the driving range prepared for use at 5 a.m. That’s a tall task when almost all volunteers are scheduled for four days of work.
“Coordinating the walking scorers and all the volunteers who were not supposed to be here today – there are a lot of moving parts,” Nooe said.
Nooe, who said Monday was one of the more challenging events he’s had to help coordinate during his time with the Kingsmill Championship, was quick to heap praise on the tournament staff and volunteers that helped make the Monday finish possible.
In all, about 50 volunteers set their alarms early to make it out to Kingsmill Resort on Monday morning, helping ensure the tournament saw a fitting conclusion. From cooks to cart crews, a wide range of roles needed to be filled.
By the time 7 a.m. rolled around, an air horn sounded from the 18th hole, signaling the resumption of play – right on time.
The early start did not take away from the accomplishment of rookie Minjee Lee, who by 8 a.m. had been crowned tournament champion.
Kingsmill Championship director Matthew Schulze said professional golf tournaments run on the hard work and dedication of volunteers. This year’s Kingsmill Championship was no exception.