Alberta Classic cancelled

DARREN FRIESEN -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:22 AM ET

A lack of support and sponsors have forced Global Sports Marketing to cancel this summer's Alberta Classic at Redwood Meadows Golf and Country Club.

Mark Hlady, president of Global Sports Marketing, said without the backing of the Calgary business community and local golf fans, the Nationwide Tour event isn't able to return for its fourth season.

"It's not going happen this year," said Hlady. "I lost money personally and I can't afford to do that because I'm not financially independent.

"I can't be just a sugar daddy for this golf tournament, it's got to break even. It's got to make a little bit of money and it didn't do that."

For Redwood Meadows, a semi-private 18-hole course, losing the Classic was a disappointment but they also lost money.

"It was a great experience for us and there's no hard feelings," said general manager Paddy Big Plume. "In the two years it's been here we never made any money. Plus, our members want their course all the time, so it's no sweat off their backs."

The Nationwide Tour, which is a developmental circuit for the PGA Tour, is allowing Hlady to keep his lease on the tournament until 2007 so he can potentially resurrect local pro golf.

"I'm working on getting some good sponsors that will be able to cover a big chunk of the cost," he said yesterday.

Originally held at GlenEagles of Cochrane, the Alberta Classic moved to Redwood Meadows in Bragg Creek for the 2004 event.

Since then, the numbers of people coming to watch future PGA Tour stars haven't been as high as Hlady hoped.

"Calgarians just didn't come out to watch it," he said. "Over four days last year there was less than 5,000 people."


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