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Aces, divots and eagles from opening day of 2021 Honda Classic

WPTV reflects on first day for spectators amid coronavirus restrictions
Rickie Fowler tees off from fourth hole during opening round of 2021 Honda Classic
Posted at 9:57 PM, Mar 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-18 21:57:58-04

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Thursday was the first day for spectators to gawk at some of the world's top golfers at PGA National, where the opening round of the Honda Classic was held.

Australia's Matt Jones tied a Champion course record by finishing the day with a 9-under 61.

Matt Jones tees off on 18th hole during opening round of 2021 Honda Classic
Matt Jones hits from the 18th tee during the first round of the Honda Classic golf tournament, Thursday, March 18, 2021, in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. Jones tied the course record at PGA National with a 9-under 61.

This year's Honda Classic is unlike years past because of the coronavirus pandemic. Attendance was limited and masks are required to be worn at all times while on the course, but it didn't seem to bother those fans who spoke with WPTV's Meghan McRoberts.

Honda Classic attendees say smaller crowds make it 'kind of nice'

Arguably the most notable changes involved "The Bear Trap," the crown jewel of the spectator experience. WPTV's Ashleigh Walters highlighted how the socially distanced crowds would impact the golfers, for better or worse.

'Bear Trap' roar will sound different at 2021 Honda Classic

Taste & See reporter T.A. Walker was also there to capture the many sights and sounds of opening day.

Although several big-name Palm Beach County golfers dropped out, there was still plenty of talent on display.

Chase Koepka off to hot start at Honda Classic

Veteran golfer Phil Mickelson proved that, even after 30 years on the PGA Tour, he's still got an avid following.

Last but not least, longtime Honda Classic volunteer Tom Gibbs had to break from tradition this year because of COVID-19, but he's all the living proof that's needed to remind folks that golf is indeed a gentleman's sport. Here's his inspiring story in case you missed it.

Coronavirus keeps Honda Classic volunteer, 75, from giving golf balls to kids

Remember, you can watch all the action from the Honda Classic this Saturday and Sunday on WPTV.