BROUSSARD — The Chitimacha Louisiana Open presented by MISTRAS has been canceled.
The PGA Tour released the following statement late Thursday night:
“It is with regret that we are announcing the cancellation of THE PLAYERS Championship.
We have also decided to cancel all PGA TOUR events — across all of our Tours — in the coming weeks, through the Valero Texas Open.
We have pledged from the start to be responsible, through full and transparent with our decision process. We did everything possible to create a safe end ornament for our players in order to continue the event throughout the weekend, and we were endeavoring to give our fans a much-needed respite from the current climate. But at this point — and as the situation continues to rapidly change — the right thing to do for our players and our fans is to pause.”
In a release earlier on Thursday afternoon it appeared that the tournament would still be played but with significant changes. The tournament would be conducted as scheduled, but without fans in attendance due to the public health threat of the coronavirus pandemic.
PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said earlier Thursday that events across all Tours – including the Korn Ferry Tour which the Louisiana Open is a part – will proceed as scheduled, but all events will be closed to fans.
Louisiana Open tournament director Danny Jones issued a statement Thursday saying that the 29th annual tournament will conduct championship play as scheduled Thursday-Sunday, March 19-22, at Le Triomphe Golf & Country Club. The field of 144 professionals will compete for a tournament-record $600,000 purse with $108,000 going to the winner with the full 72 holes.
However, all other Chitimacha Louisiana Open activities leading up to the tournament have been cancelled. That includes the Cypress Bayou Casino & Hotel $1 Million Hole-in-One Shootout finals on Sunday, the Tournament Kick-Off Bash sponsored by Cypress Bayou Casino on Monday, the FCA Junior GameDay sponsored by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana and the Eat Lafayette Taste of the South on Tuesday, and both the First National Bank of Jeanerette and the Dwight Andrus Insurance pro-ams set for Wednesday.
“This is a tough situation for everyone involved,” Jones said. “But as we have always tried to do, we will continue to do what is in the best interest of our community. We thank everyone for their understanding.”
In accordance with PGA Tour guidelines set forth Thursday, the Louisiana Open will be conducted with essential personnel only. No other individuals or groups will be allowed on the grounds at Le Triomphe during early-week practice rounds or during the tournament itself.
The PGA Tour policies will begin on Friday for the second round of The PLAYERS Championship at Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., and will continue through at least the Tour’s Valero Texas Open April 2-5 in San Antonio, Texas. The no-fans policies will be in place for at least three Korn Ferry Tour events – next week’s Chitimacha Louisiana Open, the inaugural Lake Charles Championship March 26-29 and the Savannah Golf Championship April 2-5.
“This is a difficult situation, one with consequences that impact our players, fans and the communities in which we play,” Monahan said in the statement. “We’ve had a team in place that has been carefully monitoring and assessing the situation and its implications for several weeks. We’ve weighed all the options, and I appreciate the input and collaboration across the Tour, our industry and our members that got us to this point.”
Louisiana Open championship play will begin Thursday, March 19, at approximately 7:30 a.m. over the 7,061-yard par-71 Le Triomphe layout with the final round set for Sunday, March 22. It will be the seventh event on this year’s Korn Ferry Tour and the second to be conducted on U.S. soil. The Korn Ferry Tour is the official “Path to the PGA Tour” with 25 PGA Tour cards awarded to the top 25 finishers on the regular-season points list and another 25 cards awarded during the three-event Korn Ferry Tour finals in August.
The Louisiana Open is one of only three PGA Tour-sanctioned events in Louisiana along with the Zurich Classic of New Orleans and next week’s Lake Charles event, and has been a part of the Korn Ferry Tour since 1992. The Acadiana event has raised more than $5 million for charities and youth groups in the tournament’s 28-year history.