Tuesday morning marked the opening ceremonies for the AT&T Byron Nelson golf tournament.
Thousands are expected to show up to TPC Craig Ranch in McKinney to watch some of the top players in the world including Scottie Scheffler, the Dallas native who just won the 2022 Masters.
This is the second year the event will be held in McKinney. According to organizers, this is the first time since 2008 that they've sold out the event. It's been hosted by the Salesmanship Club of Dallas since 1968.
"Certainly the impact that it has on the whole city of McKinney with the whole world seeing our community and being introduced to McKinney, I love that, but the real meaning for me is the impact this tournament has on children and families," said McKinney Mayor, George Fuller.
The tournament raises money for Momentous Institute, a Dallas non-profit that offers a school and programs geared toward helping children navigate through social and emotional health issues.
"This week is really more than a game, everything that happens here make it possible to do year-round elementary school education, our mental health programming and training that we launch out to the rest of the community this really is a game-changing week for us," said Jessica Gomez, Psy.D., Executive Director of Momentous Institute.
"Given what we've been through in these past two years, we understand that mental health isn't just for some communities, we all need to be healthy and so the more we talk about it, the more we destigmatize it, so it's important to embrace these conversations with our family, our friends and our colleagues," said Gomez.
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Every year more than 5,000 children and families receive services from Momentous Institute whether that's through their school, therapeutic services and other programs.
Along with helping the next generation grow, there's no doubt that the tournament will also generate millions of dollars for McKinney and surrounding communities.
"The economic impact is huge, when you have 30 to 40 thousand people coming into the community, they're staying at hotels, they're shopping they're eating, that's huge," said Mayor Fuller.
He said he hopes Salesmanship Club will choose McKinney for years to come to host the event.
"My goal is to have the Salesmanship Club to commit to the next 250 years to be here in the city of McKinney, I may not be here to see that into fruition but I think they found their home here, I hope," said Fuller.
In regards to preparing for a busy four days, the mayor said it's taken months of preparation and a community effort. He said McKinney ISD offered up its parking stadium to help accommodate the number of people who will attend the tournament.
"Our biggest hurdle when we contemplated this and how to pull this off is quite frankly parking, but they (MISD) stepped up," said Fuller.
The tournament is named after professional golfer Byron Nelson, who was known for his swing and service to giving back to others. Nelson started the tournament in 1968. He passed away in 2006.
"I know Byron would be so pleased to know how successful it is especially with all the pandemic behind us and knowing we got everything sold out and everything is going to be so great this year, and weather will cooperate, and we're going to have a great field, great teams and great play and it's going to be good for everybody and especially for Momentus," said Peggy Nelson Jaros, who was married to Nelson for 20 years.
This year the tournament also has another fundraiser for Mental Health Awareness Month called 'Birdies for Mental Health' which allows people to make a pledge five cents or more per birdie.
Saturday night country music star Lee Brice will also perform at the venue. Tickets can be purchased here.