VIRGINIA — Youth golfers will return to the Virginia Golf Course today for the 22nd Annual John Urick Memorial Golf Tournament with every golfer coming away with a prize of their own.

After the 2020 edition of the event was canceled due the COVID-19 pandemic, tournament co-organizer and VGC golf pro Steve Fingeroos says youth golfers from around the area are excited to take part in the event after the year off.

“We couldn’t have it last year,” Fingeroos says. “But I know the kids will be happy to be back out there. It should be a fun day.”

Fingeroos said he had 81 players registered for the tournament but said the number could grow with late additions coming at the last minute. The field is split into several age brackets which are as follows: 17-18, 15-16, 13-14, 11-12 and 10 and under for both boys and girls.

The tournament honors the late John Urick, the head golf pro at Virginia from 1953-1975. An advocate for golfers to start the game at a young age, Fingeroos said Urick was an integral part in growing the game in the area during that time.

“He pushed it as far as he could during his time here. He loved coaching kids and helping them in any way he could. Whether it was helping someone’s shot or finding the right club for a beginner, he always wanted to find a way to make the game of golf better for the kids.”

Working with the Virginia Men’s Club to put the tournament on, Fingeroos says he hopes the tournament is up to snuff following the stepping down of previous tournament organizers Steve Giorgi and Kerry Bidle following the 2019 tournament.

“We appreciate all the work Steve and Kerry have done in years past to run this tournament. We’re trying to follow their same plan for this and hopefully we can keep it as successful as when they ran it.”

While the tournament also normally includes extra putting and chip-shot contests, Fingeroos says those will be absent this year with the focus being primarily on the golf.

“Hopefully we’ll get back on board with the putting and chipping contests next year. This year, we want to emphasize just the golf for this year.”

Registration for the event is $10. Those who have yet to register can come to the course at 7:45 a.m. to get signed up with the golf to start shortly after that. The fee covers a T-shirt for each golfer, lunch and a gift certificate to the shop at the Virginia Golf Course.

When all is said and done, Fingeroos says a number of high-value prizes will also be awarded.

“The pay out to all the players this year ended up at around $5,000 and everyone who participates will get the gift card to the shop.”

Fingeroos also wanted to thank the Urick family for their continued support of the event.

“We appreciate them for letting us run this event in honor of John. It’s a big deal for the Virginia Golf Course and we’re excited to see it come back.”

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