SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) — The long-term future of the Sanford International golf tournament appears uncertain tonight. The board of directors of the Minnehaha Country Club, where the tournament has been played for the last three years, has voted against a two-year contract extension to host the event.
The Minnehaha Country Club surveyed around 300 of its members on whether or not to extend its contract to host the Sanford International through 2024. The country club says roughly half of the members opposed the two-year-extension, so the board of directors voted unanimously against it. The Sanford International says that vote likely means 2022 will be the last time the tournament is played in Sioux Falls.
“It’s an incredibly disappointing day for us as a tournament, it’s an incredibly disappointing day for the city, a great event, one of the biggest sporting events in this region has an uncertain future as of today,” Sanford International Tournament Director Josh Brewster said.
Minnehaha Country Club officials declined to go on camera, but General Manager Bret Coad says it’s premature to speculate that the tournament will end in two years, and isn’t ruling out further talks.
Board President Erik Syverson says country club members have enjoyed hosting the event but a five-year commitment limits their access to the course during a short golfing season. Whatever becomes of the Sanford International after 2022, both sides say they’re looking forward to the next two years of tournament play.
“We’re just thrilled to make these next two years unforgettable for the people and this region,” Brewster said.
Minnehaha Country Club says the proposed merger between Sanford and Intermountain Health was not a factor in their decision against the contract extension.
Meanwhile, Brewster says the tournament is not looking at any other local golf courses to host the event.