Sports Outside the Beltway

PGA Tour cancels Viking Classic due to weather

The last time this happened was over a decade ago. From AP-

PGA Tour officials canceled the weather-stricken Viking Classic on Saturday because of unplayable course conditions.

There will be no makeup date and players will move on to the final event of the season, the Nov. 12-15 Children’s Miracle Network Classic in Orlando, Fla.

Annandale Golf Club received 1.75 inches of rain overnight Friday and Saturday, completely soaking an already marginal course that had areas of standing water and large tracts of mud.

Madison has received more than 20 inches of rain in the past six weeks.

“I told them this was closer to a FEMA 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.”

Officials postponed, then canceled play Thursday and Friday mornings after nearly constant rain. There had been hope officials might shorten the tournament to 54 holes and play next week or weekend, but groundskeepers didn’t believe the course would dry that quickly.

Slugger White, PGA Tour vice president for rules and competition, said commissioner Tim Finchem had asked the board for permission to play a 36-hole tournament as early as Monday but was unsuccessful.

“We just couldn’t get there,” White said.

This is the first time a tournament has been scrapped outright because of weather since the 1996 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, which was canceled due to unplayable conditions. The last rainout came in Houston in 1991, though that tournament was rescheduled.

The Viking Classic was important to players who wanted exempt status in 2010. Now it will come down to the Children’s Miracle Network Classic in Orlando for about a dozen players. Honestly I think 125 is a way too high number for exempt players. There are players who have entered hundreds of tournaments and not been able to win. Even in a weak Fall Classic field. I think there should be a bigger turnover of players every year to avoid just that. Bring back the Top 60 days? Maybe not, but 80 or 90 has a better feel.

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