After several days of rain, including two stoppages due to dangerous weather situations, the inaugural Elk Ridge Open has been cancelled.
PGA Tour Canada made the decision Saturday afternoon. The tournament will not be re-scheduled.
“We evaluated the golf course this morning and it was completely flooded,” tournament director Matt Delaney said in a press release. “It’s totally unplayable golf conditions. You can’t play under the rules of golf in conditions like this.”
Tour officials examined all 18 holes prior to making their decision. Delaney said they found bunkers full of water, along with standing water on fairways and greens. The course has received more than 10 inches of rain during the past 10 days.
“If we tried to play, and players had unplayable lies because of the accumulation of water, there would literally be no place for them to drop their golf balls on the golf course,” Delaney explained. “It will take at least one week for this golf course to dry out just for normal play here.”
The tournament opened with a 156-player field, but only 78 were able to finish their first round. Even before the first day, tournament officials said players would be allowed to lift, clean and place their balls because so much rain had fallen on the course.
Delaney said the golf course was in “borderline” condition when play started, and the next few days of rain only made things worse.
“It was good enough to play,” he explained. “It’s not good enough to play now.”
The decision brings an abrupt end to the first PGA Tour Canada event to be held at Elk Ridge. The course was the third tournament in PGA Tour Canada’s Fortinet Cup season.
Prior to Saturday, the tour had never cancelled an official tournament due to weather without rescheduling. PGA Tour Canada executive director Scott Pritchard said they looked at every possible option before deciding not to reschedule.
“Canceling a golf tournament is something we do not take lightly,” Pritchard said in a press release. “We enter every tournament week with the intent of playing 72 holes of golf. The unprecedented rain in this part of the province actually made the decision for us. There was just no way we could continue with the tournament, as the course is totally unplayable.”
Despite the setback, Pritchard said they were grateful for how the Elk Ridge ownership group welcomed the tour with open arms. Barring a similar downtown next summer, the PGA Canada Tour will be back in Northern Saskatchewan.
“The event had the makings of being very special,” he said. “I appreciate the players understanding that this is something out of our control. While we will not be able to reschedule the Elk Ridge Open, we look forward to returning to Elk Ridge Resort in 2023.”