Viking Classic cancelled

2009-10-31 19:39

New York - US PGA Tour officials cancelled the rain-flooded Viking Classic on Saturday after overnight showers swamped an already-saturated course.

There will be no make-up date for the $3.6 million- event, which was to have been the penultimate tournament of the season, which will conclude with the Children's Miracle Network Classic on November 12-15 in Orlando, Florida.

Annandale Golf Club had almost two inches of rain on Friday and Saturday that prevented the first round from being played and officials gave up after standing water and mud took hold following 20 inches of rain in the past six weeks.

"This was closer to a disaster site than a golf course," tournament director Randy Watkins said. "Somebody asked if you could play somewhere else. I don't think you could play golf within 150 miles of here."

There was hope to shorten the event to 54 holes or play next week when there is an off week in the schedule, but the course is not expected to be playable even then.

The Viking Classic became the first PGA event to be cancelled because of weather since the 1996 Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

While most of the top PGA stars are not playing in the last few events, the washout does hurt the chances for players outside the top 125 money winners for the season to improve their position and keep playing rights on the 2010 tour.

It also puts players like Rich Beem, the 2002 PGA Championship winner, in a do-or-die situation at Orlando. He ranks 124th on the current money list.

"I would be lying to you saying it wasn't nerve wracking," Beem said. "I'm looking forward to the opportunity to go out to Disney and play well and see if we can't wrap this thing up."