The Santa Barbara City Golf Championships, a Memorial Day weekend tradition, is not being held due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Saturday-through-Monday tournament at the Santa Barbara Golf Club brings out the top amateur golfers in the community and draws strong players from throughout California.
The tournament, which includes a stroke-play championship flight and four net-scoring flights, has been rescheduled for Labor Day weekend, Sept. 5-7, according to Kevin Withnell, the head professional at SBGC.
“That’s what we’re shooting for,” he said.
Withnell noted that he received several inquires the past couple of weeks about the status of the city championship.
“Unfortunately, all those types of things— things like group events, tournaments, group instruction — none of that will be permitted at this time,” he said.
Last year’s championship flight ended in an exciting finish. Former Santa Barbara High and Northwestern University star Jack Perry sank a 5-foot birdie putt on the par-5 18th to beat former San Marcos standout Jordan Scott and Brandon Kewalramani of Boston College by one stroke.
“It means a lot to win the Santa Barbara City Championship,” Perry said after the trophy presentation. “I grew up watching and playing this tournament, and I idolized Andrew Perez and Brandon Gama. To finally be on the same trophy as them is very, very meaningful.
“This is bigger to me than the U.S. Amateur. I grew up coming here in fourth, fifth and sixth grade and to see guys like Perez, Gama and John Pate have their names on the trophy. … It’s crazy, and it feels really good.”
Pate is a six-time tournament champion.
The Santa Barbara Golf Club reopened for public use on April 25. The course has strict social distancing protocols in place to protect against the spread of the coronavirus.
The pandemic also led to the postponement of the Goleta City Golf Championships at Glen Annie Golf Course in late March.
As for the annual Santa Barbara Classic, the 36-hole, two-person, best-ball tournament held during the weekend of Old Spanish Days at the SBGC, Withnell said it is still on the calendar for Aug. 8-9 but is uncertain whether the event will be able to be held.
He said the golf shop remains closed until further notice, but the restaurant Mulligans just started limited patio seating.