Owing to heavy flooding in West Virginia, PGA has decided to cancel the Greenbrier Classic Tour – a major PGA event – scheduled to be played from July 7 to July 10. In the past few days, West Virginia has seen a record rainfall in the state and it has caused devastating floods. These floods have also affected The Old White TPC, the course at White Sulphur Springs in Greenbrier County, which was supposed to host the Greenbrier Classic Tour. After examining the course, the PGA Tour officials came to a conclusion that it was beyond reasonable repair and wouldn’t be ready in time for the Greebrier Classic Tour. The Greenbrier County resort has been closed indefinitely until clean up work starts.
Talking about the flooding, PGA Tour Commissioner, Tim Finchem said the following.
“We are heartbroken by the devastation that the residents of West Virginia are experiencing at this time and the reports of lives lost due to the terrible flooding. Cancelling The Greenbrier Classic is certainly the most prudent course of action as our foremost concern is the well-being of those who are having to live through this tragic situation. Our thoughts and prayers are with them.”
He confirmed that the Tour will return to Greenbrier next year, but he also added that it is of secondary concern now. “The priority is safety of the residents and their recovery from this disaster,” he said.
Jim Justice, owner and CEO of The Greenbrier also had something to say about the cancellation of the Greenbrier Classic Tour.
“All of our focus needs to be on helping all of the people of our great State. So many have lost loved ones, their homes, and have no place to go.We love the PGA TOUR and our partnership with these fine people. All of us are united with only one common goal to help the people through this terrible time.”
Greenbrier’s official account also tweeted that it is opening its doors for shelter to those who need it. In a press release, Jim Justice, said the following.
“Due to all of the damage we received from the storm, we aren’t able to provide The Greenbrier experience that our guests expect, But we can certainly provide a comfortable room for those who are hurting and need a place to go.”
— The Greenbrier (@The_Greenbrier) June 26, 2016
This decision was sort of expected because earlier, on Saturday, popular Pro Golfer Bubba Watson had visited the course and tweeted video of some of the holes that in the course showing the flooding.
— bubba watson (@bubbawatson) June 23, 2016
Justin Ray, Senior Researcher with the Golf Channel, tweeted that the Greenbrier Classic Tour is only the third PGA Tour to be cancelled due to bad weather.The previous PGA Tour event cancelled due to bad weather was in 2009 at Sanderson Farms in Jackson, Mississippi.
The Greenbrier Classic is just the 3rd PGA Tour event canceled due to weather conditions in the last 20 years ('09 S Farms, '96 Pebble).
— Justin Ray (@JustinRayGC) June 25, 2016
A total of 26 people have died due to the floods and 15 of them are from the Greenbrier County. More than 150 players had committed to play the Greenbrier Classic Tour. Pro Golfer Erik Compton said the following.
“I was saying on the range, and a lot of players (were saying) we’re not really worried about the golf tournament. We’re more worried about the community. First-most, you’ve got to get the community back. There’s plenty of time for golf.”
West Virginia has recorded up to 10 inches of rainfall in less than 24 hours resulting in rising of the creeks, streams and rivers, and consequently causing floods. As of Thursday, the devastating floods had forced 44 of West Virginia’s 55 counties to declare a state of emergency. Also, the floods have left more than 60,000 homes and businesses without electricity.
However, there were no flash flood warnings issued for West Virginia on Saturday and the cleaning work has started taking place as a result.
[Photo by Darren Carroll/Getty Images]