CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — Golf was one of the last few sports to come to a halt thanks to COVID-19. Part of that is due to the nature of the sport being individual and non-contact. That makes the golfers on tour, like former Illini Nick Hardy, cautiously optimistic about coming back.
“You’re kind of on your own and you’re not really interactive physically with other people, I think that helps but we’ll see,” Hardy said. “It’s kind of a lot of unknowns.”
Hardy was off to a strong start in his first year with full status on the Korn Ferry tour. He finished tied for 3rd in his second event, and top-20 in his last tournament.
“We got six events in before the season was postponed,” he said. “I’m off to a good start which is good, it’s nice to be going into this weird time with a good start.”
Hardy says he has been told mid-May is the target to return to the course. That would mean the Evans Scholars Invitational at The Glen Club in Glenview would be his first tournament back. Until then he has to be creative in getting his practice, that means sometimes leaving the state.
“I’ve got some ideas. I’m actually going to head to Indiana to play a few times next week,” Hardy continued. “I definitely will do everything I can to keep practicing.”
His eyes are still set on the PGA Tour but with everything going on, Hardy, along with the other guys on tour, might have to reevaluate their goals.
“I think everyone’s goals are kind of on hold, maybe changed depending on what happens here,” he said. “You never know what might happen just because everything on the line who knows when we get back into competition and if there will be a full season or even people will be able to go to the PGA Tour next year.”
Hardy and the rest of the Korn Ferry Tour is scheduled to make their stop in Springfield on July 16-19th for the Lincoln Land Championship.