Mackenzie Tour shelves season; DCBank Open looks to 2021

The 2020 Mackenzie Tour-PGA Tour Canada season has been hit out of bounds from the tee.

The pro campaign, which was to include the DCBank Open presented by the Times Colonist on June 4-7 at Uplands Golf Club, was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The tour had originally called a postponement of the season but officially holed out Friday.

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“We have had a long history of the Victoria tournament since 1981, and to see it not happen this year is a real disappointment,” said Keith Dagg, a key director of the event.

“But I have been in touch with the major sponsors and they are all keen to go next year. And Uplands is keen to go again. We will return in 2021.”

That was confirmed by DCBank president Jeff Smith.

“The DCBank Open has been a mainstay on Vancouver Island for many years,” said Smith.

“While we are disappointed that we won’t have a tournament for the first time in a long time, we are fully supportive of the decision to [cancel] this year’s event and we look forward to our involvements in the years to come.”

The Mackenzie Tour is a part of the pro golf development ladder and its alumni includes 41 PGA Tour players and 232 Korn Ferry Tour players produced since 2013. Many of those players are Americans. That posed a particular dilemma for the Canadian-based Mackenzie Tour with the Canada-U.S. border closed to all but essential travel until at least June 21. All people entering Canada must also quarantine for 14 days.

“Even if the Mackenzie Tour postponed to the fall, can you gamble on the border being open in September?” noted Dagg.

The 13 scheduled 2020 tournaments were set to be the most in the Mackenzie Tour’s history. It came down, however, to there really being no other option.

“With growing uncertainty surrounding the border and quarantine regulations, among other factors, we believe this decision ensures the safety of the community,” Mackenzie Tour-PGA Tour Canada executive director Scott Pritchard said in a statement.

“We are going to use this time to work alongside the DCBank Open and make the 2021 event the strongest yet.”

The down but not defeated theme was echoed by DCBank Open tournament director Murray Thomas.

“Our event has succeeded in bringing the community together each year. Now it’s part of our responsibility to help keep the community safe. We feel this is the right decision,” said Thomas.

“Our commitment to Victoria and the DCBank Open is unwavering and we are going to work hard towards putting on a strong community-based event in 2021.”

The DCBank Open joins a long list of cancelled or postponed Island sporting events amid the pandemic.

“It’s a shame. Every day you pick up the newspaper and it’s another event that’s gone this year,” said Dagg.

“Other times that has sporadically happened, it’s been for financial reasons. This time, it’s unusual in that it’s for health.”

The Victoria Shamrocks and Nanaimo Timbermen lacrosse seasons and Victoria HarbourCats baseball season have been cancelled. The starts of the Pacific FC pro soccer and Western Speedway racing seasons are postponed.

The Victoria Royals had their WHL playoffs cancelled. Cowichan Valley and Nanaimo were preparing for the Island Division final when the BCHL playoffs were cancelled. The Canada West conference has announced a curtailed season, which will affect UVic Vikes teams.

Canada’s two scheduled men’s soccer games at Westhills Stadium in March against Trinidad and Tobago, crucial for 2022 World Cup qualifying, were cancelled. The Canadian women’s rugby team was to have hosted the postponed Canada Sevens this month at Westhills Stadium as part of its Olympic preparations. The cancellation of the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, caused the scrubbing of the Canadian Little League championship scheduled for August at Layritz Park.

The TC 10K, GoodLife Fitness Marathon, Oak Bay Half Marathon and Ryder Hesjedal’s Tour de Victoria are cancelled. The Tokyo Olympic basketball qualifying tournament, scheduled for June 23-28 at the Memorial Centre, has been rescheduled to June 29-July 4, 2021, to coincide with the new Olympic starting date of July 23, 2021.

cdheensaw@timescolonist.com

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