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Colonial honors healthcare workers with names on caddies' bibs

Healthcare workers from all around North Texas got a special nod from the PGA Tour and Colonial this weekend, with their names right alongside the names of Tour pros

FORT WORTH, Texas — For three months, the healthcare community has been fighting COVID-19, on our behalf, here in North Texas and around the world.

"We now have figured out some of the processes," said Janice Knebl, a doctor at UNT Health Science Center. With a plastic shield covering her face, she adds with a laugh, "Certainly I feel like a welder, but that's OK!"

The healthcare workers in the area have been so vigilant, working to keep everyone healthy. So this past weekend at Colonial, they got a little extra shout-out.

"Healthcare workers, they've been put through a lot," said tournament director Michael Tothe. "And really have been demonstrating heroic work. So it was important for us to recognize."

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And to say it meant something to these people is a major understatement.

"I got a letter from the PGA, which was just amazing!" Knebl said with unbridled enthusiasm. "And then my husband posted it, so all of our family were texting, and could not believe it."

Harold Varner III's caddy sported Knebl's — who cheerfully compares her name to Evil Knevil, saying she's "Able Knebl", to help people to pronounce her surname — last name on his bib. And Alan Kramer from UT Southwestern, an avid golfer himself, had his name alongside one of his long-time favorite golfers, Justin Rose.

"It has taken thousands and thousands of people to keep COVID as much at bay as possible," Kramer said. "The Tour did a great job of recognizing that, and really putting forth the essential workers and healthcare workers, and really shining the light on all of them."

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And at a heavily-watched tournament marking the return of the PGA Tour, everyone saw their names.

"I have family in Ireland, and they were texting myself and my husband," Knebl said. "It was just fantastic."

A memory, amidst a major challenge, that Knebl calls the biggest boost she's gotten yet.

"I've been in practice over 30 years, and this is a situation that I will never forget," she explained. "To have my name on the caddie's bib. Pretty phenomenal, it really is."

The smiles alone make it all worth it.

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