St. James welcomes return of CAA women's golf tournament

St. James welcomes return of CAA women's golf tournament
St. James Plantation is hosting the Colonial Athletic Association women's golf tournament this week. (Source: WECT)

SOUTHPORT, NC (WECT) - The Colonial Athletic Association women's golf tournament is back at St. James Plantation a year after the event was removed because of controversial House Bill 2, also known as the bathroom bill.

In February 2017, the CAA moved the event from St. James to Ford's Colony Country Club in Williamsburg, Va., because of the controversy surrounding the bill.

The 2018 CAA is the first neutral site tournament to return to North Carolina since the law was repealed.

CAA Commissioner Joe D'Antonio released the following statement on this week's tourney:

"We are pleased to be able to return to St. James Plantation Golf Course because of our experience in the past. Our goal in this championship and all of our championships is to provide our student-athletes a tremendous experience in a non-discriminatory environment. We believe that St. James Plantation can do this."

Golf fans seem pleased the tournament has returned to St. James.

"It's a shame that the CAA had to make the decision to take it out of state," said John Witherspoon. "It's nice they are able to return to North Carolina for the championship. I was very not happy they had to leave because of the political decisions made in Raleigh."

"It was politics and this is sports," Travis Thompson added. "Sports should be exclusive of politics. Let the players play at a good venue, and let's not let the politics get inside of sports."

St. James is scheduled to host the CAA women's golf championship again in 2019.

Copyright 2018 WECT. All rights reserved.