For almost two years, amateur golf tournaments took a backseat due to the pandemic.
When the protocols eased up a few months ago and with the approval of the local government unit of Baguio City and Inter Agency Task Force of Emerging Infectious Diseases, the Fil-Am Golf Invitational made a successful return last week.
The Fil-Am executive committee submitted a proposal to the LGU, IATF and National Golf Association of the Philippines, early this year but it was only granted with the go-ahead in October, thus, giving only a month to prepare for the four-day event in the country’s Summer capital.
“I believe they all waited for the Covid-19 alert level to slide down. And when it did, that’s the time that we were given the green light,” said Robert John Sobrepeña, chairman of Camp John Hay, co-host alongside the Baguio Country Club of the Fil-Am golfest.
For this 71st edition, the Fil-Am was played in a semi-bubble to ensure the health and safety of the participants.
As it was a semi-bubble, the players have had three Antigen tests done throughout the week. That translated into zero (0) COVID-19 case, Sobrepeña happily noted.
“Our staff and the people involved at CJH and BCC were fully vaccinated and have had antigen tests too. It safeguarded everyone. This is in compliance with the LGU’s guidelines. The good news was, it worked,” he said.
Sobrepeña also said that the Fil-Am executive committee is hoping to have the tournament back to normalcy in 2022.
“We are hoping to have a better situation next year so we can bring in more participants,” he said, noting that only 288 played, a far cry from the usual 1,300 it lures every year for the world’s largest amateur golf tournament in the Guinness Book of World Records