26 Jun 2016

Lee won't defend title at Greenbrier next month

8:40 am on 26 June 2016

The New Zealand golfer Danny Lee won't be able to defend his title at the PGA Tour's Greenbrier Classic next month.

Danny Lee WGC Matchplay 2016.

Danny Lee WGC Matchplay 2016. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The event has been cancelled due to the devastating flooding caused by record rainfall in West Virginia.

The Old White TPC, the host course at White Sulphur Springs in Greenbrier County, suffered extensive damage from the flooding and is beyond reasonable repair to conduct the tournament, PGA Tour officials said.

"We are heartbroken by the devastation that the residents of West Virginia are experiencing at this time and the reports of lives lost due to the terrible flooding," PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem said in a statement.

"Cancelling The Greenbrier Classic is certainly the most prudent course of action as our foremost concern is the well-being of those who are having to live through this tragic situation. Our thoughts and prayers are with them."

West Virginia's governor asked for a federal major disaster declaration for three counties devastated by the state's worst flooding in more than a century as the death toll rose to 23.

Jim Justice, owner of The Greenbrier Resort, said: "All of our focus needs to be on helping all of the people of our great State. So many have lost loved ones, their homes, and have no place to go."

The 2016 Greenbrier Classic, which had been scheduled to be played from July 7th to 10th, was won last year in a four-way playoff by Lee.