The English Open, set to played at the St Mellion International Resort in August, will now return to The European Tour International Schedule in 2011.
Crown Golf, owners of the prestigious St Mellion International Resort in Cornwall, and The European Tour agreed to the postponement due to difficulties being experienced by third party developers engaged in building golf homes on the site.
Stephen Lewis, Chief Executive Officer of Crown Golf, explained: “We have a long term agreement with The European Tour to host The English Open but unfortunately like many companies the credit crunch has created additional challenges for our partners engaged in developing the golfer’s accommodation at St Mellion.
“We are delighted however that Crown Golf’s own £20 million rebuilding and refurbishing hotel and course renovation project is progressing well, and that the landmark hotel with 80 rooms will officially open in June. Unfortunately construction of the balance of the residential development has been suspended. This means that the necessary tournament infrastructure will not be in place and in the current climate we believe a two year postponement will ensure that all work is finished for 2011.
“This work involves the building of golf homes essential to the accommodation requirements for The English Open. There are other matters that need to be resolved and we would not wish to have building work in progress when the tournament is being played and could not guarantee that to be the case for 2009/10.
“A two year postponement provides a good time frame for us to get all work completed and we have reiterated our commitment to The European Tour to host The English Open from 2011. We appreciate The European Tour’s assistance in working with us.”
Keith Waters, Director of International Policy of The European Tour, said: “We fully appreciate and understand the challenge facing Crown Golf and in particular their genuine desire to ensure that the return of The English Open coincides with the venue being fully prepared in every aspect to host a tournament on The European Tour International Schedule. The two year lead-up will enable Crown Golf to progress the project to the high standard both they and us demand for our players.”
Crown Golf, the UK’s largest golf course owner/operator, counts the St Mellion International Resort as the most prestigious venue among its 34-strong group of golf clubs. A dramatic new logo, featuring the iconic red and white English flag to emphasis the rich history of the tournament first played in 1979, has already been unveiled for The 2011 English Open to be played on the superb Jack Nicklaus Signature Course – the first one built in the UK by Nicklaus and opened in 1988.