Viking Classic cancelled due to waterlogged course

NEW YORK Sat Oct 31, 2009 3:34pm EDT

Related Topics

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The weather-hit Viking Classic was canceled on Saturday without a ball being struck after the waterlogged Annandale Golf Club in Madison, Mississippi was lashed by further thunderstorms overnight.

More than 26 inches of rain have saturated the par-72 course over the last month and officials abandoned any chance of the tournament going ahead.

"Unfortunately we didn't do as well as we thought we were going to do last night," PGA Tour vice president for rules and competition Slugger White told reporters.

"We got about an inch and three quarters of rain out there. Our staff went out to assess exactly what we were afraid was going to happen and it got worse."

Although Tour regulations allowed for play to spill over until Tuesday, White was advised by the course superintendent that Annandale would not become playable until at least Wednesday.

"We've done every single thing we could possibly do to try to get this golf tournament in," White said.

"We went as far as to have commissioner (Tim) Finchem go to the board to get approval ... to override the regulations so we could try to get 36 holes in by Tuesday, maybe play Monday and Tuesday.

"But unfortunately it's impossible."

DISNEY CLASSIC

The Tour said the Viking Classic would not be rescheduled and the players would move on to the season-ending Disney Classic at Lake Buena Vista, Florida from November 12-15.

The last time a Tour event was canceled and not rescheduled was the 1996 Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

In 1991 the Houston Open was completely rained out before being moved from April to October when South African Fulton Allem claimed the title.

Rich Beem began this week 124th in the money list and needs to stay in the top 125 by the end of the season to secure his playing privileges for next year.

"I would be lying by saying it wasn't nerve-wracking," said the 2002 U.S. PGA champion.

"The only thing I can control is how well I play. 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."

(Writing by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles, editing by Tony Jimenez)

FILED UNDER: