LPGA loses another event as Meijer LPGA Classic canceled

The LPGA announced the Meijer LPGA Classic scheduled for Oct. 1-4 has been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, with the previously postponed ShopRite LPGA Classic slated to take its spot on the calendar.

The Meijer was to be played at Blythefield Country Club in suburban Grand Rapids, Mich.

“Not playing the Meijer LPGA Classic is disappointing, but I am very excited that our partners at Meijer have extended their contract with the LPGA and that we’ll be coming back to Grand Rapids even further into the future,” LPGA commissioner Mike Whan said in a statement, adding that the event is expected to return in 2021.

“The flexibility and understanding from both Meijer and the leadership at ShopRite speak volumes to their dedication to our LPGA athletes and their charitable efforts.”

Instead, the LPGA is scheduled to be in Galloway, N.J., the first week of October.

“We look forward to visiting the Jersey Shore in October and continuing an incredible tradition of great championships and giving back to the local community,” Whan said.

With the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational canceled last week, the LPGA Tour is currently scheduled to return to action with the Marathon Classic in Sylvania, Ohio, from July 23-26.

However, tournament organizers told the Golf Channel last week that event also is likely to be canceled unless Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine lifts restrictions on outdoor public gatherings.

“Financially, it would not work for us,” tournament director Judd Silverman said. “A business model with no fans is something that would be very difficult to afford.”

The PGA Tour is planning to return next month with at least the first four events being contested without fans. However, the LPGA’s timetable for a potential return is complicated by a financial model that is more reliant upon having fans in attendance.

“We are working with all of our tournament operators on the situations that work best in their individual communities,” an LPGA spokesperson told the Golf Channel. “We don’t expect any two communities to be the same. As Mike said, we are working generally on a 45-day-out basis in each host community.”

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