USPGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem (pictured) and Castle Pines Golf Club have revealed that one of the more idiosyncratic events of the season, The International, has been removed from the tournament schedule with immediate effect – meaning that even this year’s proposed renewal will now not take place.
The event was one of the more recognisable on the Tour, due its modified Stableford scoring format and the fact that it is staged at the same venue every year, the Castle Pines Golf Club in Colorado.
Started in 1986, The International has been won by some of the game’s very best players including Phil Mickelson (twice), Davis Love III (twice), Greg Norman, Jose Maria Olazabal, Ernie Els, Vijay Singh and Retief Goosen.
The decision was revealed in a joint statement by the USPGA Tour and the Castle Pines Tournament Company, who hinted that the inability to guarantee high standards and financial security were the reasons behind the decision.
“It is with profound regret that we must announce the end of The International after 21 successful years,” said the founder and president of Castle Pines Golf Club, Jack A. Vickers.
“We have always been committed to operating The International at the highest level as one of golf’s premiere tournaments. To go forward without certainty that those objectives can be achieved has caused us to withdraw from the USPGA Tour, rather than to compromise our high standards or assume financial risk on behalf of our membership.”
Finchem singled out Vickers and Castle Pines for high praise when commenting on the announcement, and said that the USPGA Tour would miss its annual trip to the Colorado course.
“On behalf of the USPGA Tour and all our members, we are deeply grateful for what Jack Vickers and everyone associated with The International at Castle Pines has accomplished over the past 21 years,” he said.
“The Tour has had no greater friend over the last 21 years than Jack Vickers. We will miss our annual visit to Castle Pines, but we clearly understand the business reasons for discontinuing the event.”