Today is the day that the 73rd-annual Uvalde Fourth of July golf tournament was to end. But as with most local sporting events scheduled since the middle of last March, the Fourth of July golf tournament never did get underway.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, tournament organizers canceled the golfing event.
With the number of Texans who have caught the virus soaring across the state, the cancellation of the tournament was the prudent thing to do.
Though golf is played outdoors, social distancing can be a challenge.
The wearing of face masks for protection from the spread of the coronavirus is difficult enough in an air-conditioned room, but much tougher amid hot, humid conditions outdoors.
Needless to say, the cancellation of the golfing event is disappointing, especially to long-time tournament participants.
But the health and well being of tourney players, course workers, and everyone else involved in the tournament is the most important thing.
There will be no 2020 tournament.
The question that looms today is will there be a Uvalde Fourth of July golf tournament in 2021?
I say this because over the past 10 years, the amount of interest in the 72-year-old event has been waning.
The number of golfers who have participated in the match-play tournament has been on the decline.
At the peak of its popularity, the largest field of players for one of the past tournaments was 144 golfers.
In more recent years, the field has dipped to fewer than 80 golfers.
For whatever the reason, there does not seem to be as many people excited about playing in the three-day, match-play tournament.
Some golfers have told me it is the cost for the tournament, some golfers have told me they have family obligations on the Fourth of July, while other golfers have said that playing in a three-day event is time consuming.
Nationally, I have read that the number of people who are playing golf is a lot less than it was 10 years ago. I cannot say definitively why the number of participants in the local tournament has been on the decline. All I know is that the numbers of participants are lower than they used to be.
Golf course officials have told me that plans are for the tournament to resume next season.
If the Uvalde Fourth of July golf tournament is going to return in 2021, I believe it is going to take a lot of involvement by local golfers in cooperation with course officials to make it happen.