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May 30—HIGH POINT — The High Point Golf Association Memorial Golf Tournament will shift back to its traditional Saturday and Sunday of Memorial Day weekend in 2022, Blair Park head professional Johnny Carroll announced as the 2021 tournament wrapped up recently with a cookout.

The 36-hole tournament over two days at Blair Park was shifted to the weekend ahead of Memorial Day weekend in 2019 in an effort to boost participation. It was held in June last year because of the pandemic and returned to the weekend ahead of Memorial Day weekend this year.

Carroll said the decision to shift back to Memorial Day weekend was the result of a big drop in the number of players compared to prepandemic tournaments. This year’s tournament wound up with 93 teeing off in Saturday’s first round compared to 130-140 prepandemic.

“This year is the third year we tried it the weekend before Memorial Day weekend,” Carroll said. “In 2019, our numbers were up a little compared to the last two or three on Memorial Day weekends, but not a lot. We had kind of fallen into that 130-140 range. Last year, we threw out of consideration because of the pandemic and postponing to June. This year, it was surprising how much we were down from two years ago.”

The 93 for this year’s HPGA, the city’s second-most important amateur tournament for ages 16 and up, was also slightly down from the 105 or so for the Bud Kivett city championship earlier this month.

“Moving the Memorial semi-worked before COVID and then this year we were down,” Carroll said. “For 35 years we were on Memorial Day weekend. We know that we lose a few players because they go out of town. But we also know that we have some that will play in a two-day tournament knowing that they have Monday off for the holiday. So this gives them the option to do that.”

Carroll received some feedback requesting a shift to the traditional dates. — 336-888-3519 — @HPE Greer