For the first time in close to a century, there’ll be no major professional golf tournament in Manitoba this summer.
The Mackenzie Tour-PGA Tour Canada announced they’ve cancelled their entire 2020 season on Friday because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The move wipes out 13 scheduled tournaments which were the most in the tour’s history, including the Manitoba Open. It was originally scheduled to take place this August at the Southwood Golf and Country Club.
With travel restrictions around the globe, and tour players coming from all corners of the planet, the tour felt it was best just to cancel the entire 2020 season entirely.
“With growing uncertainty surrounding the border and the 14-day quarantine regulations, among other factors, we’ve weighed all of our options and concluded that it is not feasible to play this summer,” Mackenzie Tour executive director Scott Pritchard said in a statement.
“With the safety of the communities we play in mind, as well as the well-being of our players, sponsors, tournament-organizing committees, volunteers and golf course staff, we came to the realization that this is the best decision for everyone involved.”
The Manitoba Open’s executive director, Adam Boge, fully backed the choice to cancel all of this season’s events.
“We totally support the decision,” Boge said.
“We have had many discussions to try and make the Manitoba Open possible. We look forward to 2021 and building our relationship with the True North Youth Foundation.”
The tour’s executive director also indicated they’ll try to come back even stronger next summer.
“We had built a lot of momentum coming into this season,” Pritchard said. “And we were excited to continue making a positive impact in the communities where we play, while providing opportunities for our players to progress to the PGA Tour.
“Our commitment to our tournaments and their local communities, as well as our players, is unwavering, and we’re going to use this time to come back stronger in 2021.”
For the 2021 season, the status of prior tour members will be based on order of merit results from the 2019 season, while all players who recently earned tour status at the three qualifying tournaments will be guaranteed spots for next summer.
Jets defenceman Josh Morrissey was scheduled to compete in this year’s event after fellow Jets Mark Scheifele, and Kyle Connor competed the past two years.
While Manitoba’s professional tour stop has held six different names since it’s inception in 1919, it’s the first time the tournament won’t be contested since 1930.