Tournament not possible without its contingent of volunteers - WFSB 3 Connecticut


Tournament not possible without its contingent of volunteers

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The Travelers Championship would not run so smoothly if it wasn't for the 4,000 volunteers that donated their time every year.

From handing out water to shuttling the athletes around, they do a lot to keep the event up and running.

Inside volunteer villa, people are greeted with a smiling face.

Joy White has been checking in the thousands of volunteers for the last 12 years.

"I'm not a golfer, but I love all the excitement," she told Eyewitness News. "The people, the volunteers really are great. They do make the game."

Unlike the game of golf, high numbers on the event's volunteer leaderboard get someone the top spot.

Buddy Buder's name sat atop it on Friday.

"I'm a walking scorer for Travelers," he said. "I've been scoring for 45 years."

For the last four and a half decades, he's never missed a round.

"I would never miss this event for anything," Buder said. "It's for the charities, it's for the people."

It's earned him the unofficial title of "mayor."

Thomas Shields is another volunteer with decades of experience. Fifty years worth of experience.

"The tournament has grown to an enormous size since it's been in Wethersfield," Shields said. "I like the tournament, I like golf."

He's been through many tournament name changes, met many players and worked many jobs over the years.

"I'll keep coming back, as long as I'm alive," Shields said.

Every volunteer Eyewitness News spoke with on Friday said there is no question they'll come back next year.

As for the players, the pressure is on for day two. Many of them will not be returning for the next round.

Stay up-to-date on the tournament here.

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