Eight golfers go through stressful process to qualify for Visit Knoxville Open

The Oak Ridge County Club and Three Ridges hosted qualifier rounds for the Visit Knoxville Open.
Published: May. 22, 2023 at 11:17 PM EDT
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OAK RIDGE, Tenn. (WVLT) - This week more than 150 golfers from around the world will compete for $1,00,000 in winnings at the Visit Knoxville Open, but the path for at least eight of those in the field didn’t come free.

At Oak Ridge Country Club and Three Ridges in Knoxville there were qualifying rounds on Monday where more than 200 people competed for eight remaining spots in the Korn Ferry Tour that starts Thursday at Holston Hills.

To compete in these qualifying events it’ll cost each golfer anywhere from $100 to $500 just to play while also having to pay their own way to travel to East Tennessee and finding a place to stay.

“You’re definitely finding ways to cut pennies here and there,” said Will Dickson.

Dickson posted a -8 score and was able to qualify, but isn’t guaranteed any money at the Visit Knoxville Open unless he finishes in the top half of the field. While money isn’t guaranteed, he’s already had to pay $500 to enter the qualifying round and drive from Atlanta to stay at a Holliday Inn for the chance to chase his dream.

“It’s a challenge, it’s a grind but everyone out here has a dream of making it to the PGA tour and this is how you get there,” said Alex Scott.

Scott was one of the not so fortunate ones who didn’t make the cut but spent eight hours driving form his home in Florida and paid $100 to come home empty handed. For Scott and the hundreds others in a similar situation. it’s all in pursuit of one day getting a meaningful win that snowballs into a long and successful career.

“We all know that one week can change your life,” said Dickson.

A full list of who is advancing to the Visit Knoxville Open can be found here as you can see those qualifying players and more in action starting Thursday morning when the Korn Ferry Tour takes center stage at Holston Hills.