The Miccosukee Championship will not be a part of the South Florida sports scene in 2013.
The PGA Tour has confirmed that the Web.com Tour golf tournament will not be on its 2013 schedule, and the tournament’s future beyond that remains in doubt.
Tournament executive director Don Strock, the former Dolphins quarterback, is trying to keep a positive attitude, suggesting that the event could return at some future date beyond 2013.
“Realistically, because everything is set up and decisions have been made, the earliest year we could look at coming back is 2014,” Strock said.
And to do that, of course, would take funding of the event by the Miccosukee Tribe or another sponsor.
Would the Miccosukee Tribe consider providing that funding in the future?
“I can’t really speak for them,” Strock said. “It’s up to them to decide. At some point soon, we want to sit down with the Miccosukee Council and see where we are going.”
Jeff Adams, the director of communications for the Web.com Tour, also does not rule out the tournament returning in the future.
“We’re hoping things work out for a possible return,” Adams said. “I don’t think this is final. We could possibly come back in 2014.”
The Miccosukee Championship is 10 years old and there are nine different champions — actually, 10, if you want to count Hurricane Wilma as the winner in 2005, when the tournament had to be canceled. This year’s champion was Shawn Stefani, who won $108,000 from f the $600,000 purse.
The Web.com Tour that the Miccosukee Championship is a part of is considered an entrance-way onto the PGA Tour. Next year, 50 of the players on the Web.com Tour will receive their playing cards for the PGA Tour.
Many PGA Tour players have competed in the Miccosukee Championship, most recently Keegan Bradley, who won the 2011 PGA Championship 10 months after playing in — but not winning — the Miccosukee.
A confluence of events seemingly doomed the Miccosukee for 2013.
A major one is changes made by the PGA in the Web.com Tour schedule. There are 25 tournaments in 2013, fewer than a year ago, and five of them are in Latin America. The final four events in 2013 make up the Web.com Tour Finals, and after all that golf the 50 players receiving their PGA Tour cards will be determined. The Web.com Tour finale will be at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach.
Important to the Miccosukee tournament is that the reconfigured Web.com Tour in 2013 concludes in September, and the Miccosukee traditionally has been played in October. Several tournaments got new dates, but Miccosukee was not one of them.
“One thing that really caused problems with us is that we were in October, and there is no October on the Web.com schedule anymore,” Strock said. “Everybody was kind of getting pushed back, pushed back and pushed back.”
No matter what happens, Strock has been happy running the tournament.
“It’s been a good little boost for the community,” he said. “I’m hopeful we can get it back.”