By Julie Glass
Rory McIlroy delivered the winning shot as live golf returned to television for a skins game that revealed plenty of rust and raised more than $5 million for COVID-19 relief funds. McIlroy and Dustin Johnson, who had not won a skin since the sixth hole, had a chance to win the final six skins worth $1.1 million on the final hole at Seminole in the TaylorMade Driving Relief exhibition. Both missed, and they returned to the par-3 17th for a closest-to-the-pin contest.
And in Darlington, S. C. the grandstands were completely empty. There wasn’t a single tailgate inside the track. Everyone wore face coverings — some with the team logos, others opting for plain disposable medical masks. It was nothing close to the corporate sponsorship, pomp, and patriotic traveling circus that symbolizes NASCAR.
But when the engines fired at Darlington Raceway following a 10-week layoff during the coronavirus pandemic, it turned into a regular old race.
Kevin Harvick beat Alex Bowman to win NASCAR’s first race back, a spectacle closely watched to see if the largest racing series in the United States could successfully get back to work.