Final preparations made for Cologuard Classic golf tournament

Final preparations made for Cologuard Classic golf tournament

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Weather will play a factor as golfers tee it up.

The Cologuard Classic comes to town, at the Omni Tucson National Golf Course.

For the first time in the three-year history of this PGA Champions Tour tournament in Tucson there is a title sponsor in Cologuard.

Tucson Conquistadores Executive Director Judy McDermott said that securing their sponsorship was vital to the tournament.

"Because you just don't know. As we all know, professional sports in Tucson is tough. We lost Spring Training several, several years ago. So keeping professional sports in Tucson - especially a tradition of professional golf that's been here since 1945 - anytime we can extend a contract with sponsorship is key," she said.

On Tuesday, Feb. 27, crews were stepping up the course preparation.

They were putting their best foot forward, as the deadline approaches, and the eyes of an expected 35,000-plus spectators and an international television audience will watch an event for which the Tucson Conquistadores prepare a full year.

"The Tucson Conquistadores are here running the operations of the tournament for the year," McDermott said. "But once the tournament starts and the competition starts the PGA Tour rules officials that do this every week on the tour, they're here to help us."

Getting help from Joe Terry.

He has had 24 years of experience as one of those rules officials. Not only is Terry in charge of placing the holes each day, but he inspects nearly every patch of grass, even the level and tilt of the greens.

"We want it to be challenging but fair," Terry said.

Mother Nature might dial up the difficulty on Wednesday and Thursday, as the pros and amateurs square off in the Jose Cuervo Pro-Am. Last year, it was record heat in March that provided the challenge.

"I thought that's what Tucson was like all the time. This year certainly changed my mind on that," Terry said.

This year, Terry is preparing for freezing mornings and rain, before the weather is expected to clear up for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday's Cologuard Classic tournament.

It's why he's making the preparations now for the sweet swings of joy when the tournament begins.

"There is a point where it becomes no fun for them. If the temperature goes way down, the wind goes way up, you can't control the golf ball, you're miserably cold - that's not fun for anyone," he said.

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