They came from all around the First Coast as well as the country to watch THE PLAYERS Championship.
And although the tournament was cancelled after the first day of competition on March 12, due to the coronavirus, many fans expressed gratitude that they at least were able to attend that day.
They eagerly followed their favorite golfers, sat and took in the scene at Hole no. 17 Island Green and eagerly bought souvenirs from the Fan Shop, which was filled with customers.
Fans knew that day that THE PLAYERS would be closed to spectators for its final three days and would only learn that evening that it would be completely cancelled.
“I came from Minnesota for this,” said Mary Geraets, who was there Thursday with her sisters. “At least we had today.”
The balmy, sunny weather helped her cheerful attitude. “It’s wonderful,” she said. “Like a summer day for us. When we left home, it was 40 degrees and we still had two feet of snow left on the ground.”
Cory Ciambella came from Buffalo, New York. “This was a big event for me, first time here. Although she comes every year,” he said of his sister, Shar Donovan of Jacksonville.
“We’re really grateful we came yesterday for the practice rounds and today’s first round,” Donovan said.
Heather Terranova, who came from O’Fallon, Missouri, near St. Louis, sat on the hill at hole no. 17 with her husband, Mike, and her aunt and uncle, Kathleen and John Furness, who live in Ponte Vedra Beach.
“We’re a little bummed. This is our favorite thing to do every year, sit at hole 17. We were going to be here the whole weekend,” Heather Terranova said. “We’re really glad to be here today, though.”