Heavy rain in August had already affected preparations for the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship at the Naples, Fla., property, which was scheduled for October 7-12, but Hurricane Irma ultimately forced the tournament to be postponed. No rescheduled date has yet been established.
The first United States Golf Association event in Collier County will have to wait, the Naples (Fla.) Daily News reported.
The tropical disturbance that dumped 13.5 inches of rain on Quail Creek Country Club in Naples, Fla., in late August already had affected preparations for the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship, set for October 7-12. Tuesday, the USGA announced that the impact of Hurricane Irma forced the tournament to be postponed, the Daily News reported.
“After assessing the storm’s impact on the course, we have determined with Quail Creek that the championship cannot be successfully conducted on the scheduled dates next month,” U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship Director Rachel Sadowski said in a release. “Our thoughts are with our good friends at Quail Creek, and with everyone in the Southeast affected by the storm.”
Sadowski said in an email that USGA agronomist Todd Lowe had visited the course shortly after the heavy rainfall, the Daily News reported.
“Our decision to postpone is based on the club’s assessment of the course being unable to rebound quickly enough to successfully host the championship in three weeks,” she said. “It’s too early to tell the full impact from the storm, but the course received significant flooding and tree damage.”
Sadowski said it was too early to say about a rescheduled date, the Daily News reported.
“Our priority was communicating the postponement to players as soon as we could, and now we’ll work on what’s next,” she said.
Quail Creek General Manager/COO Don Hunter was unavailable to the Daily News for comment.
A separate report by Golf Digest detailed some of the storm’s effects on golfers. The Jupiter area and south to Miami were spared a direct hit but damage was everywhere. It included countless trees uprooted, downed power lines, blown-out windows and roofs that were ripped off, and flood waters that rose to at least four feet in the heart of downtown Miami, Golf Digest reported.
Tiger Woods, Justin Thomas, Rickie Fowler, Brooks Koepka, Michelle Wie, to name a few, were among the players who got out of town before the storm. Others, like Greg Norman, rode it out, Golf Digest reported.
The Keys and areas of the Caribbean got hit much worse. In Florida, the west coast just south of Tampa took the brunt, Golf Digest reported.
One golf pro from Naples’ Tiburon Golf Club, home of the Franklin Templeton Shootout, fled to just outside Jacksonville, only to see the storm shift back east. He didn’t know whether he and his brother, a chef and novice golfer, would still have a place to live when they got back, Golf Digest reported.
“Fence and tree damage to my house and parents’ house but nothing otherwise,” said tour player George McNeill, who lives just outside Fort Myers. “Others weren’t so lucky. It’s not real good [south] of us. If it was a Category 5, we’d all be in a different place.”
The storm tracked north through Orlando, causing more havoc there, and eventually to Jacksonville, too, where it knocked out power and sent the massive St. John’s River overflowing into parts of the city’s downtown. At TPC Sawgrass to the south, the Stadium Course’s island 17th green was partially submerged. In preparation for the storm, the PGA Tour, which is headquartered down the street, sent many of its critical assets north, Golf Digest reported.
On Monday night, hundreds of utilities trucks were streaming southbound, trying to restore power for the millions who lost it. Others worked to clear debris from streets, or begin various levels of repairs. In the aftermath, “all good” was mostly the message from many in the golf community, though. They know others have it a lot worse, Golf Digest reported.