For the first time since 2009, the PGA Tour had to cancel a tournament due to unplayable conditions. The flooding in Greenbrier County in West Virginia has already claimed 15 of the 23 deaths reported to the result of heavy rainfall over the past week, according to ABC News.
The Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs was inundated with floodwater after heavy storms rolled into the state Thursday. Tour officials say the Old White TPC, the host course, suffered extensive damage and “is beyond reasonable repair to conduct the tournament.”
PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem said officials were heartbroken by the devastation in West Virginia and offered their thoughts and prayers.
“Canceling 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,” Finchem said. At the Greenbrier, owner Jim Justice said the focus is on helping the people of West Virginia.
“So many have lost loved ones, their homes, and have no place to go,” Justice said. “All of us are united with only one common goal: to help the people through this terrible time.”
The Greenbrier Classic began in 2010. The PGA Tour is committed to holding the event through 2021.
“We know we will have the opportunity to return again next year, and we look forward to that time,” Finchem said. “But for now, that is of secondary concern. The priority is safety of the residents and their recovery from this disaster.”
Earlier this week, Greenbrier resident and Tour representative Bubba Watson shared some photos and videos of the destruction rolling through the Old White TPC where the tournament was to be held.