The TPS Hunter Valley event scheduled to start on Thursday at Oaks Cypress Lakes Golf and Country Club is going ahead as a three-round event, despite heavy rainfall and flooding throughout New South Wales.
The first appearance of a major Tour golf event in the Hunter in more than 10 years, the TPS Hunter Valley is a mixed-gender event with a $200,000 prize pool, part of the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia and the WPGA Tour of Australasia.
Today the Tour organisers announced that the start of the event would be pushed back a day from Thursday to Friday to allow the course superintendent and his staff more time to prepare the playing surfaces.
"It's remarkable to think that we can consider playing at all," said Nick Dastey, the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia's Tournaments Director.
"Full credit to Oaks Cypress Lakes for the work that they've already done in trying circumstances, with plenty of work ahead in the next 48 hours as well. Our rules and event operations team are unbelievably experienced in navigating through these challenges which always gives us the best chances of completing a successful event.
"We are extremely confident we will have the tournament up and running from Friday morning, and have no doubt it will be a stand-out event in a great part of the world. The forecast weather from Friday to Sunday is positive so we look forward to good crowds onsite and great pictures being beamed out through the weekend broadcast."
The tournament will now be reduced to 54 holes from 72 holes.
The TPS Junior Players Series will now be played as a one-round event on Sunday with the cut to the main tournament made at the completion of the second round on Saturday.
"It's remarkable to think that we can consider playing at all." - Nick Dastey.
With $200,000 in prize money to be won and the top-13 players on the ISPS Handa PGA Tour of Australasia Order of Merit all in the field, PGA of Australia Tournaments Manager Graeme Scott said it was important to protect the integrity of the tournament.
“We will be closing the course on Wednesday to allow it to start to dry out and then players will be allowed to play practice rounds on Thursday ahead of Round 1 on Friday,” Scott explained.
“Given the nature of this golf course we thought it was important that the players were given the opportunity to play a practice round.
“We also need to give Course Superintendent Craig Molloy and his team the time to get onto the golf course and address the areas of the course that they haven’t been able to prepare in recent days.”