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Local golf tournaments postponed, scrapped amid coronavirus pandemic

作者:admin 2020-05-26

Tee-off times for major golf tournaments in Southern Alberta are being postponed indefinitely or scrubbed out entirely.

The coronovirus pandemic is the cause that’s prompted action by associations to put a pause on their seasons or wipe them out, just as the PGA cancellation of the 2020 RBC Canadian Open was made official Thursday.

On Thursday, the Mackenzie Tour — PGA Tour Canada postponed the Lethbridge Paradise Canyon Open, which was slated to run June 25-28. It’s one of six early-season events postponed by the circuit, which serves as a developmental loop for the PGA.

For now, the ATB Financial Classic — a mid-season stop on the Mackenzie Tour — remains on the calendar for Aug. 6-9 at Calgary’s Country Hills Golf Club.

Also Thursday, the Calgary Ladies Golf Association cancelled its entire schedule as a COVID-19 precaution.

“For the first time since its inception in 1929, the CLGA is announcing the cancellation of its entire 2020 tournament and event schedule,” the CLGA said on its website. “This schedule includes: Rileys Best Ball; City Amateur; City Senior Amateur; City Junior Amateur; Junior Development Camp, Medallist Series; and Tournament of Champions.”

Meanwhile, the Calgary Golf Association is indefinitely postponing its calendar of events, which was set to tee-off with the long-standing Rileys Best Ball tourney on April 23.

On Thursday, the PGA Tour formally announced its plans to restart the season in just under two months but without a stop north of the border. The tour is targeting June 11-14 (formerly the date of the Canadian Open) to get the world’s best golfers back on the course at the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas. The RBC Canadian Open plans to return in 2021 with the venue likely unchanged at St. George’s Golf and Country Club, 20 minutes west of downtown Toronto.

“Today’s a gutting,” Golf Canada CEO Laurence Applebaum told Postmedia. “But I sincerely believe that golf is going to play a role in the recovery, so that’s something I’m looking forward to.”

Applebaum said rescheduling the 2020 event didn’t make sense.

“The PGA Tour came to us and talked about every conceivable option, but we know the short window we have here for a golf event and the other restrictions that the tour has for a playoff schedule and the rescheduling of the majors,” Applebaum added. “There really wasn’t a possible slot where we could have some certainty that we wouldn’t be facing the same situation as we had with the original date.”

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