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Barracuda Championship’s first year in Truckee a unique one with COVID-19

Published: Aug. 2, 2020 at 12:04 AM PDT
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Truckee, Calif. (KOLO) - The region’s longstanding PGA Tour event looks much different in 2020.

After two decades in Reno at Montreux Country Club, the Barracuda Championship (formerly the Reno-Tahoe Open) has debuted its new home at Old Greenwood in Truckee.

“It was always a dream,” said Travis Alley, Director of Golf Operations for the Tahoe Mountain Club.

He started with Old Greenwood in 2007 as an intern.

“We always talked about it, saying we could have a tour event here,” said Alley, who now oversees operations at TMC’s public courses Old Greenwood and Gray’s Crossing. “Now it being here, it feels like Christmas morning everyday coming to work.”

Of course, there was the real worry their nearly year-long preparation was going to be for nothing as the Coronavirus crept its head.

”We weren’t sure we were going to operate a golf course at one point,” said Alley. “Nevada County had shut down everything. Then it was just baby steps.”

And with COVID-19 still running the sports world, the first Barracuda Championship in Truckee is unique.

No spectators are allowed and the Professional Golfers Association has strict protocols in place. Players and caddies are essentially within a bubble, using separate facilities and receiving daily COVID-19 tests.

But playing it safe is better than not playing at all.

”There so much that goes into these events and so many people impacted,” said Alley. “It’s just great to be out here.”

With Old Greenwood in the first of a four-year contract with the Barracuda Championship, Alley is hoping the surrounding communities are back on the fairways in 2021 to see the new home of the area’s PGA Tour stop.

“I think it’s just going to get bigger and better every year. I think our effort level will increase across the board,” said Alley. “We can’t wait to welcome everybody to our home course and see how it plays out.”

The low number of humans around has brought out the region’s natural inhabitants. A bear disrupted action during Friday’s second round and KOLO8 News Now’s Mike Stefansson saw one nearby during Saturday’s third round.

Copyright 2020 KOLO. All rights reserved.

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