10/10/2016

Hurricane Matthew has caused untold amounts of damage all over the Caribbean and Atlantic coast of the U.S. Homes and businesses destroyed, lives lost and millions of dollars of damage and lost revenue. The golf industry is a key part of the economy for Florida and South Carolina and it will take weeks and probably months to fully assess the damage done by Hurricane Matthew.

One of the more immediate casualties of Hurricane Matthew was the Web.com Tour Championship.

The final event of the Web.com Tour Finals was scheduled to be held October 6-9 at Atlantic Beach Country Club in Atlantic Beach, Fla. Obviously, with a hurricane barreling towards Florida, it was never going to happen. However, instead of the event being moved to a safer location or rescheduled for a later date, the event was cancelled and will not be rescheduled. Earnings through the first three events of the series are now considered final.

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That’s good news for the likes of Grayson Murray, who won the money list and his fully exempt for next season and will play in the Players Championship, as well as Tim Wilkinson, who claimed the 25th and final tour card. However, not everyone was happy with the outcome.

Several former winners on the PGA Tour like Stuart Appleby and Camilo Villegas failed to earn their card for the next PGA Tour season, which begins the following week in Napa, Calif.

Adam Long was 89th on the final money list and was hopeful for a high finish at the Tour Championship and final surge into the top 25, but never got the chance.

Although disappointed about missing his final opportunity, he understood the odds of playing were near impossible and accepted the decision. “To have it cut underneath you is never what you want…it’s not anybody’s fault.” Long was optimistic for next year though, saying he’d play the Web.com Tour again in 2017.

This was the first time since 2005 a Web.com Tour event was cancelled, also due to a hurricane.

Although the PGA Tour has cancelled and rescheduled tour events in the past, there was no plan B in place to move the Web.com Tour Championship due to the fact the new PGA Tour season begins October 13 at the Safeway Open. The tour did not want to keep players’ fates in limbo.

Bad news for the likes of Appleby, Long and those players just outside the top-25 of the money list but likely the right decision in the long term.