WinCo Foods Portland Open is no longer
Another Oregon professional golf event has come and gone. This time, it's the WinCo Foods Portland Open, which was not on the 2021 Korn Ferry Tour schedule released Tuesday, Nov. 18.
The Korn Ferry Tour's regular season finale, played at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club in North Plains since 2014, ended as the result of the event's multi-year deal with WinCo Foods expiring.
"We enjoyed a tremendous seven years of PGA Tour-level golf with the WinCo Foods Portland Open, but 2020 marked the end of the current multiyear agreement with our title sponsor, WinCo Foods," said tournament executive director Jeff Sanders in a statement. "We thank WinCo Foods for their great support over that time."
With the passing of the event, the LPGA's Cambia Portland Classic is left as the only professional golf event in the Portland metropolitan area.
The Winco Foods Portland Open joins the Champions Tour's Tradition — which was played at the Reserve Vineyards and Golf Club in Aloha from 2003 to 2006, and at the Crosswater Club in Sunriver from 2007 to 2010 — along with the then Nationwide Tour's Oregon Classic, which was played at Shadow Hills Country Club in Junction City from 1998 to 2008, as former but now-defunct Oregon professional golf events.
Over the seven year history of the Portland Open, Pumpkin Ridge was proudly the site of nearly 200 Korn Ferry Tour professionals earning their PGA Tour cards, and hosted renowned players such as 2017 PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas, four-time PGA Tour winner Xander Schauffele, three-time PGA Tour winner Daniel Berger, two-time PGA Tour winner Cameron Champ, and 2020 Honda Open champion Sungjae Im, who also finished second at last week's Masters tournament.
In addition, local golfers such as Forest Grove's Robert Garrigus, University of Oregon's Aaron Wise, Medford's Dylan Wu, and Jesuit High School alum Scott Harrington, who earned his way onto the PGA Tour with a second-place finish at the 2019 tournament, have all teed it up at the event.
The COVID-19 pandemic didn't make things easy on the event in what's turned out to be its final year. The tournament was forced to be played without fans, and hospitality tents and areas — which contribute a fair amount of revenue — were eliminated as the result. Nonetheless, Sanders was happy with how things played out in the end, and proud of what tournament organizers accomplished despite the obstacles.
"Everything was really rocking and rolling, and then, boom, COVID-19 hits," Sanders said during the final round of the 2020 event. "We had hospitality suites booked up, had a full pro-am, we had our charities selling tickets and keeping the money, then we had to completely go another direction. It's taken an enormous amount of time, but I've got to tell you, I'm really proud of the team."
And maybe that's not the last we've seen of the Korn Ferry in Oregon? In his statement, Sanders seemed optimistic that there may yet once again be professional golf at Pumpkin Ridge.
"I remain confident in the great game of golf and that it will eventually bring us all back together," he said. "We look forward to the day that Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club hosts PGA Tour golf again."
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