The Madeira Islands Open – Portugal – BPI has been cancelled after four days of strong winds, heavy rain and thick fog meant the requisite 36 holes could not be completed and a result could not be declared.
The picturesque island venue of Clube de Golf do Santo da Serra endured a torrent of rain on Sunday, with 60mm falling overnight and during the morning, meaning the second and final round, after the event had initially been reduced to 36 holes, could not start.
During the delay and as the greenkeeping staff worked hard to prepare the course, more rain fell and the course remained unplayable, meaning the final round did not commence. With a weather warning issued for Monday due to strong winds, it was decided that the tournament be cancelled and all scores null and void.
The European Tour has already begun discussions with the sponsors and host venue to reschedule the event for another week in The 2015 Race to Dubai schedule.
It is just the third event in European Tour history to be subject to a cancellation, after the Compaq European Grand Prix in 1998 - due to adverse weather - and the WGC - American Express Championship, which was cancelled in the wake of the terrorist attacks in the USA on September 11 .
Keith Waters, Chief Operating Officer of The European Tour, said: “The Madeira Islands Open – Portugal – BPI is a hugely important event for The European Tour so it is disappointing for everyone concerned that we have been forced to cancel this week.
“This tournament has produced some memorable moments down the years and we share a very strong relationship with the hosts and sponsors, so we are already in discussions with the club and the sponsors to reschedule the event for another week in this year’s Race to Dubai schedule.
“We really appreciate the efforts of those who worked tirelessly this week to make the tournament happen, so we feel we must now make every effort to make sure that the Madeira Islands Open – Portugal – BPI takes place this year and that together we can show the world the true potential of this great event and this beautiful island.”
José Maria Zamora, Tournament Director of the Madeira Islands Open – Portugal – BPI, said: “After three very difficult days with really bad weather, we could only achieve 18 holes by Saturday afternoon and considering the bad weather forecast we had for Sunday, we decided to go for a shotgun start.
“Unfortunately we had 60mm of rain overnight and throughout Sunday and the course became totally unplayable. That made it impossible to start and finish the second round today.
“That would have put us into Monday and we had already been issued a warning for very strong winds on Monday which would again have made the course unplayable.
“We have been very unfortunate with the weather this week but we are hoping to reschedule and show the true potential of the island.
“We want show that what happened this week is not the real Madeira – it is a beautiful island which enjoys lots of sunshine all year round and most of all, this is one of the most spectacular courses we visit all season.”
Joachim B Hansen (leader of the tournament before cancellation): “It’s definitely disappointing because it would have been nice to put two or three good rounds together, but the weather wouldn’t let us do that.
“I’ve been playing well for a few weeks now so I’m going home to have some time with my coach and I’m looking forward to Kenya (Barclays Kenya Open) now.
“They tried everything they could here. I know José Maria Zamora and everyone here did everything they could to finish this tournament. The greenkeepers worked very hard too, you could see that from the clubhouse, trying to remove the bunkers so it’s a shame we couldn’t finish.”