As the Dick's Sporting Goods Open came to a close Sunday, many said the event was a huge success, with great weather, players and scores. Our Elyse Mickalonis swung by the Champions Tour and introduces us to a man with a very steady hand.
ENDICOTT, N.Y. -- Another year of the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open has come and gone.
“The turn-out’s been great, the weather’s been great, so everyone has enjoyed everything they’ve seen,” said Tom Tokos, Johnson City resident.
Janice Smith, Dick's Sporting Goods Open volunteer, added, “It’s been perfect, not too hot not too cold, no wind, certainly no rain and it’s just been great.”
And while fans kept track of their favorite players as they teed off, one Endicott native was keeping track of every player and their scores.
“It’s very time consuming. Each name takes about two to three hours and there were 80 players on the field this year,” said Jason Benko, Dick’s Sporting Goods Open Scorekeeper.
Jason Benko is the man behind the handwritten scoreboard at the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open, a job that takes time and patience.
"It’s an art form a lot of tournaments still use it a lot don’t. This is how it was done in the old days, before IBM scoring satellites, GPS or the internet. Over the years, it’s taken a different beast,” said Benko.
Benko has been scorekeeping for almost ten years. He started while in school to become a golf professional.
“When people are reading off numbers to you, you have to know it’s over par or under par,” said Benko. “Red ink or black ink.”
In the past, Benko’s writing has fooled people into thinking the scores were printed out by a computer.
“My first grade teacher was here when she read the comment and it was like, well, this is payback for you teaching me so well,” said Benko. “It’s rewarding.”
And so, with scores printed out and markers in hand…
“They’ve got to be alcohol based, obviously, so if it rains it doesn’t run,” said Benko.
Benko has single-handedly kept track of every player’s score during the course of the tournament.
Benko now lives in North Carolina. He says the Dick's Sporting Goods Open is the perfect chance to perfect his art and return home to his roots.