Wildfires force LPGA to reduce Portland event to 54 holes

Sep 11, 2020; Rancho Mirage, California, USA; Jaye Marie Green hits her tee shot on the 7th hole during the second round of the 2020 ANA Inspiration golf tournament at Mission Hills Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) – The Cambia Portland Classic has been reduced to a 54-hole event due to deadly wildfires burning in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) said on Tuesday.

Ten deaths have been confirmed during the past week in Oregon, the latest flashpoint in a larger summer outbreak of fires that have put harmful levels of smoke and soot into the region’s air.

“As we have said throughout recent months, 2020 has been the year of health and safety, and this situation is no different,” said Heather Daly-Donofrio, the LPGA’s Chief Tour Operations Officer in a statement. “Our meteorologist says that it is unlikely that air-quality conditions will improve before midday Thursday and we cannot risk the health of our players, staff, volunteers, broadcast crew and others at the golf course.

“This is not a choice we made lightly, but we are confident that this is the right decision.”

The LPGA said the Edgewater Country Club in Portland, Ore. remains closed and the Pro-Am scheduled for Wednesday is cancelled.

(Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto. Editing by Toby Davis)