The largest golf competition in the Ottawa Valley will remain on the sidelines for 2020 due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Ottawa Valley Golf Association (OVGA) has informed their member clubs that their annual Intersectional competitions will be cancelled for this year. Including qualifying events at clubs, the event involves thousands of golfers in various categories.
The Intersectional competitions have a rich history in the region, dating all the way back to 1934 when the Province of Quebec Golf Association (PQGA) ran its first men’s intersectional contest in the Ottawa area. Then a men’s-only competition, in modern times (the OVGA was formed in 1981) the inter-club event has grown to include divisions for Men and Women, Senior Men and Senior Women, and Junior golfers.
In a memo to member clubs OVGA Tournament Director Dru Lafave outlined the reasoning for the decision:
“Unfortunately for this year, regions across Ontario and Quebec, including the OVGA, have made the difficult decision to cancel their Intersectionals. It was not a decision that was made lightly or without considerable debate. In the end, the health and safety for all involved was the primary factor driving this decision. Other factors influencing our decision-making were: Club policies regarding the hosting of outside tournaments; Clubs (sic) ability to field full teams; players’ comfort level; and the impact that current protocols would have on the team aspect of the event.”
Lafave added that all 2020 club standings will be carried into 2021 and that their organization looks forward to “a spirited competition next season”.
This marks the first time in their history that Intersectionals events for the Ottawa Valley have been cancelled. The original PQGA competition inter-club event in Ottawa continued to declare champions throughout World War II.
Other Schedule Changes
In addition to the cancellation of the Intersectionals the OVGA has made additional adjustments to their tournament schedule for 2020. It had been fully established before the Covid-19 pandemic began to affect Canada but the situation required immediate alterations with uncertainly about clubs being able to operate, until they were able to do so beginning May 16.
The initial adjustments, once it became necessary, saw May events being pushed into June and now the association has to move some of those into July, as well as cancel others.
Their newly re-launched schedule has been revealed and is available at www.ovga.org/tournaments
The OVGA says tournament registration will open June 1.
They have also made other notes to the schedule official, for players and members clubs to consider, and we’re publishing them here as communicated so they carry the full details of the communication:
CHAMPIONSHIP EVENTS: The City & District Championships, Senior Championships, Match Play Championships, and Masters Championship are scheduled to move forward.
QUALIFIER FIELD DAYS: Two events are scheduled for July, with qualifying spots for the Match Play Championships and the Quebec Alexander of Tunis Championship. These events will carry important Order of Merit points for players trying to qualify for the season-ending OVGA Cup. Also see the note below regarding our New Player / Mentor initiative available for both these events and the City and District Championship.
OVGA CUP: The top 15 men, 15 women, 15 senior men and 15 senior women on the OVGA Order of Merit ladder will qualify to play in this prestigious event scheduled for September 21 at Rivermead.
TOURNAMENT OF CLUB CHAMPIONS: This was originally scheduled for September 28th at Hylands with morning and afternoon shot gun starts. We are now looking at changing the format to regular tee times on two different days, and without a banquet. We will make an announcement on the details later in the season.
2020 Initiatives Reminder: New Player / Mentor Program: We are still planning to move forward with the new program to encourage new players to compete in OVGA events. For the two July qualifiers and City and District Championship, invite a fellow golfer who has not played in an OVGA event before, or at least not in the previous five years, to come out and discover the fun of playing competitive golf. Both the “New Player” and the “Mentor” get a $20 discount off their entry fees. This opportunity is available to the first 20 new men and 20 new women players and their mentors.
Host Course Member Discount: If you are a member of the course that is hosting the OVGA tournament, your entry fee is reduced by $25.
In an additional exchange with Flagstick, Lafave conveyed that their decision was not an easy one but has already received an understanding reception.
“Sad for all the clubs and players,” he shared, not only as the Tournament Director but also as a long-time OVGA player. “We have already received many responses from clubs and captains, and all have agreed that this was the right call.”
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