Wild fire forces evacuation of Champions Tour open qualifier

March 3, 2020
fire burns beyond the golf course

With golf being an outdoor sport, it is subject to delays from time to time. Rain and frost delays happen often, but a fire delay? That’s not something you see every day, but that’s exactly what happened Tuesday afternoon at Goose Creek Golf Club in Mira Loma, Calif., site of the open qualifier for the Champions Tour’s Hoag Classic.

Shaun Micheel, the 2003 PGA Champion, was a participant in the qualifier and posted a video on Twitter showing a substantial fire burning just beyond the tree line of the course.

“I thought I’d seen it all on the golf course,” the tweet read. “Evacuating the @PGATour qualifier.”

He posted a follow-up tweet 15 minutes later showing an aerial firefighting helicopter dipping its bucket into a pond on the course.

Two-time Tour winner Paul Stankowski was also participating in the qualifier and posted another video on Twitter showing a helicopter dumping water on the fire in an attempt to contain the blaze.

Five hundred houses in the area were also under evacuation orders throughout the afternoon, according to a report from The Press-Enterprise. The area was under a high wind warning at the time the fire started.

The qualifier has four available qualifying spots, but only seven golfers had completed their round before the evacuation was ordered. It is not clear how the qualification procedures will proceed if it cannot be made up.

The Hoag Classic begins Friday at Newport Beach Country Club.

To receive GOLF’s all-new newsletters, subscribe for free here.