ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7)-- For 36 years, the Scott Robertson Memorial Tournament has been more than just a junior golf competition.
It's created a family of young golfers from all over the country, and even around the world, who descend on Roanoke Country Club this time each year.
"We'd be in trouble right now, because we'd be trying to hug everybody if everybody was here," said tournament administrator Debbie Ferguson.
This weekend would have been the 37th annual event had concerns over the coronavirus not led to its cancellation.
"We started thinking, we're going to have to have some things set in place for this year's event and just, very fast, things transpired to the point that we suddenly realized we wouldn't be able to hold this year's event," Ferguson said.
Both the boys and girls divisions were ranked 11th in the nation in strength of field last year by Golfweek, and both were expected to be strong again in 2020.
The tournament also serves as a fundraiser for The First Tee of Roanoke Valley, an organization that helps teach golf and life skills to nearly 10,000 kids around the region.
"Going to their schools or having them over to the course over there, I'm not saying it won't continue to happen, it's just going to make it harder to have it this year and have all that available to them this year," said the tournament's co-director, Tim Bibee.
Some players did choose to donate their entry fees, despite the event's cancellation, Bibee said.
But neither the money nor the memories can be fully replaced, as the committee now looks toward next year.
"The members here truly embrace these kids and their families when they come in and it's just a different feel here in Roanoke than they get in other places," Ferguson said. "We so look forward to 2021."
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