The impending threat of powerful Hurricane Wilma has forced the Nationwide Tour to cancel this week's scheduled Miccosukee Championship in Miami.
With the storm expected to hit south Florida by this weekend, Nationwide Tour officials determined that it was in the best interests of everyone to take a prudent and proactive course of action to help ensure the safety of all involved.
This was to be the final full-field event of the Nationwide Tour season and the tournament was expected to have significant impact on the money list, determining among other things those 60 players who qualify for next week's limited-field Nationwide Tour Championship in Alabama.
'While we are disappointed to cancel this week's tournament, particularly with so much at stake for players, we need to focus on people's safety first,' said Bill Calfee, Chief of Operations for the Nationwide Tour. 'Evacuating an area the size of south Florida, in the event it becomes necessary, is a slow process and we wanted to give our people a chance to reach a safe haven long before the storm is expected to hit.
'It's difficult to ignore the importance of this tournament and the major impact it could have on the money list, but I think the players all understand that the safety of players, volunteers and staff are the primary consideration,' added Calfee.
The decision to cancel the event also gives the tournament time to take down potentially dangerous items like tents, sky boxes and bleachers that could be severely impacted by the high winds that accompany a hurricane.
'We want to thank everyone involved at the Miccosukee Championship for their hard work in preparing for this week's event,' added Calfee. 'Unfortunately, Mother Nature has her own plans for this week and we have to respect them.'
The Nationwide Tour Championship will conclude the Tour's 16th season next week at the Senator Course at Capitol Hill in Prattville, Ala.