This was supposed to be a banner year for Michigan golf fans. 2020, man.
Grand Blanc's Ally Challenge, scheduled to mark the return of the Champions Tour in four weeks, will be held without fans, tournament officials finally confirmed Wednesday.
The decision was finalized this week, following Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's decision not to move the state into so-called Phase 5 of the reopening, given a slight surge in COVID-19 cases.
Peripheral events surrounding the tournament, including the popular community concert, also are canceled, though the two pro-ams will go on as scheduled, with additional health and safety measures in place.
“We are looking forward to hosting the third installment of The Ally Challenge in just a few weeks,” Andrea Brimmer, spokesperson for The Ally Challenge, said in a statement. “While it will look a bit different this year, the tournament’s overall impact on this community through charitable giving and boosting the local economy remains its ultimate purpose.
"We can’t wait for the greatest fans in golf to join us again at Warwick Hills in 2021.”
The tournament, held at the site of the PGA Tour's old Buick Open, is scheduled for July 31-Aug. 2.
Ally Challenge officials said despite the lack of ticket sales, charitable giving will not be affected. The primary beneficiary is the United Way of Genesee County.
This week's Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit, the fourth tournament on the PGA Tour's restart, is being held without fans. The other three major professional golf tournaments scheduled for Michigan in 2020 were canceled — the Senior PGA Championship in Benton Harbor and the LPGA Tour's Meijer Classic outside Grand Rapids and the Great Lakes Bay Invitational in Midland.
The USGA also scrapped the U.S. Senior Amateur, which was set for the Country Club of Detroit.