Heavy rain forces cancellation of Elk Ridge Open
WASKESIU LAKE, Saskatchewan—When PGA TOUR Canada Tournament Director Matt Delaney and his staff began the setup process of Elk Ridge Resort in advance of the Elk Ridge Open, the one thing that stood out was how much rain had fallen on the golf course in the previous week. Even before the tournament began, Delaney made the decision that players would be allowed to lift, clean and place their golf balls. The course was that wet.
“When we began the Elk Ridge Open, the golf course was borderline, again, because of all the rain this part of the province has received,” Delaney explained. “But it was good enough to play. It’s not good enough now.”
Saturday afternoon, the Tour announced the cancellation of the 2022 Elk Ridge Open, what was to be the third tournament of PGA TOUR Canada’s Fortinet Cup season. The tournament will not be rescheduled.
Even though 78 of the 156 players in the field were able to finish their first rounds Thursday, play was not without interruption as two dangerous weather situations forced delays that ultimately caused the suspension of the first round. Thursday night, more rain began falling, and it didn’t let up. Eventually, Delaney and his team toured the course, taking photos of the course’s condition. In consultation with tournament organizers and sponsors, PGA TOUR Canada officials and staffers at PGA TOUR headquarters in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, the Tour announced Saturday afternoon it was canceling the 2022 Elk Ridge Open.
“During the last 10 days, the golf course has received over 10 inches of rain. We evaluated the golf course this morning, and it was completely flooded,” Delaney said after his team examined all 18 holes and found bunkers full of water and standing water on fairways and greens. “It’s totally unplayable golf conditions. You can’t play under the rules of golf in conditions like this.
“Quite simply,” Delaney continued, “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. It will take at least one week for this golf course to dry out just for normal play here.”
Prior to this week, the Tour has never canceled an official tournament due to weather and not rescheduled it. In 2013, the ATB Classic moved from its original June date to early August because of heavy rain causing unplayable conditions. Joe Panzeri won the rescheduled tournament. Only one other time in PGA TOUR Canada’s history has there been a tournament less than 72 holes. Officials shortened the 2016 ATB Classic in Calgary to 54 holes when overnight rain prior to the final round flooded Country Hills Golf Club. Charlie Bull, the third-round leader, earned the victory.
“Canceling a golf tournament is something we do not take lightly. 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,” said PGA TOUR Canada Executive Director Scott Pritchard. “There was just no way we could continue with the tournament as the course is totally unplayable.”
Tournament officials looked at every possibility and finally realized cancellation was the only option.
“I’m grateful for all the support the ownership group, Routes2SK, has shown to the sponsors, the community, our staff and, certainly, our players,” Pritchard continued. “Routes2SK has gone over and above for everyone. We were welcomed with open arms, and this event had the makings of being very special. 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.”