TYLER, Texas (KETK) – Like all sporting events in 2020, the Texas State Open in Tyler will feature masks, hand sanitizers, and social distancing guidelines.
The tournament tees off Tuesday morning at The Cascades Club, marking the third consecutive year, the event is held in the Rose City, and the ninth time overall.
“Make sure that again, we can have the tournament, have it safely and keep everybody safe, ” said Matt Cohen, The Cascades general manager.
Golfing legend Lee Trevino and former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo will not be at the tournament this year, but there are plenty of East Texans, such as Bullard native Blake Elliott, contending for the title.
“It’s crazy to have a home golf tournament, just want to put on for East Texas being a local kid and just hopefully give it a little run this year,” said Elliott.
In 2019, Elliott finished 3rd in this tournament, and has been a pro golfer for a little more than a year, and is looking to have an even better showing in the 50th edition of this event.
“I mean I just turned pro, so, I was figuring some stuff out but I’ve definitely matured a lot more and just looking forward to a good week,” said Elliott.
“Blake Elliott is an unusual fella, he’s got the disposition, he’s one year out of McNeese,” said tournament volunteer and golfer Rick Maxey. “He is a guy who has the total package.”
Elliott won a tournament in San Antonio back in February, just before the pandemic hit, but he says he has used this time to sharpen his skills and plans to put on a show for the home crowd. This month, he won the 83rd Meadowbrook Invitational in Kilgore.
“I told them to get as loud as you can, and make it as much fun, and see what happens,” said Elliott.
We’ll see if it’s Elliott can etch his name in the history of this tournament, when the final round wraps up on Friday.