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Albertsons Boise Open kicks off without fans because of COVID-19

Posted at 5:34 PM, Aug 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-13 11:53:03-04

BOISE, Idaho — The best golfers on the Korn Ferry Tournament are gearing up for the Albertsons Boise Open presented by Kraft Nabisco, this classic Boise event begins on Thursday morning.

However, this year will look a lot different. The Albertsons Boise Open is a fan-friendly event, but because of the pandemic, there will be no fans on the course. But at least the tournament is happening.

"The great news is we are here, and we are playing golf," said Jeff Sanders, the Executive Director of the Albertsons Boise Open. "A few months back, we weren't sure if we were going to be able to play the tournament, and now that we are here, we are excited about it."

It also marks an important tournament for golfers, as the top 25 money-winners on the Kern Ferry Tour earn their PGA Tour cards and the top five get an invitation to the U.S. Open.

"Just very thankful for the opportunity, there are a lot of people who are out of work right now, and for us to have a chance to get back into it even though we are playing a game for a living it is still our job, our profession," said golfer Conrad Shindler. "It is definitely going to be different without fans; this is one of the most loyal fan bases on this tour."

Albertsons has sponsored this tournament for 31 years, and during that time, they have raised $25 million for charities in the Treasure Valley. This year they will not be able to raise their usual amount because they can't sell tickets. The philanthropic part will still be there, but we won't know how much until after the tournament.

So organizers came up with a way to honor the front line workers of the pandemic.

"One of the exciting things we are doing this year is what we call the front line heroes," said Sanders. "There are 144 golfers playing in the tournament, and each one of these golfers is going to have a local hero on the back of their caddy bib, so they honor doctors nurses first responders and Albertsons employees."

Fans can follow the action on the Golf Network who will air the tournament at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday and Friday and 3:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.