The Zurich Classic of New Orleans, one of the longest-running regular events on the PGA Tour for the past 62 years, was canceled Tuesday as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
In recent days, it had become increasingly apparent that the Zurich Classic, which was to be played April 23-26 at TPC Louisiana in Avondale, was in danger of joining the ever-growing list of sporting events that have been canceled worldwide.
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New Orleans has been part of the PGA Tour calendar every year since 1958. It was even played in 2006, just eight months after Hurricane Katrina flooded the city and the brand-new TPC Louisiana layout.
The PGA Tour made the decision Tuesday to cancel the Zurich Classic along with three other events: the RBC Heritage (April 16-19), Wells Fargo Championship (April 30-May 3) and AT&T Byron Nelson (May 7-10).
The Zurich Classic announced the cancellation with a statement on its official Twitter account late Tuesday afternoon.
“The health and safety of our fans, players, sponsors and volunteers remain our top priority,” the statement read. “We appreciate the patience and understanding of all those impacted as we work through this process.
"We truly appreciate your support of our event, which allows us to have an incredible impact on the lives of children in our region.”
Also Tuesday, the PGA Championship, which was to be played the week after the Byron Nelson, was postponed.
The Players Championship was canceled after just one round last weekend and the PGA Tour canceled the next four tournaments on the schedule Thursday night. The Masters was postponed the next day.
The only two-man event on the Tour, which was scheduled to have a record $7.4 million purse this year, the Zurich Classic is produced annually by the Fore!Kids Foundation.
“Given the situation in our city and around the world, we truly had no choice,” said Fore!Kids CEO Steve Worthy, who added that the tournament will return in 2021.
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The organization has raised more than $38 million for children’s charities, most of them in the New Orleans and Baton Rouge areas, over the years.
Tournament tickets purchased at www.zurichgolfclassic.com, in person or over the phone will be automatically refunded. Patrons who bought suite or Pro-Am packages will be contacted directly about a refund.
For more information, call the Fore!Kids Foundation office at (504) 342-3000.
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