ROCKFORD — The 2021 Rockford ProAm has been canceled, organizers reported Monday.
The news marks the second time the event was nixed because of concerns over COVID-19. The 2020 tournament was canceled seven months ago as the virus swept across the United States.
“Typically, by now, in November, we would be quite a ways down the path of our planning, but that’s been all on hold because of the pandemic and the situation we’re all dealing with,” Rockford ProAm President Scott Nicholas said in a release. “Our costs are somewhere around $125,000 just to pay for the golf pros, before we do anything else. We need $125,000 in donations and sponsorships before we get to talking about doing anything else. To say that we can’t do it is a heart-breaker for all of us We also have a strong mission to be able to supply some funds to local charities, who are all hurting right, just like the rest of us.”
The Rockford ProAm is usually played in July, following the John Deere Classic. The tournament was started in 1977 as a fundraiser for the three Rockford area hospitals. Initially held at Elliot Golf Course where it remained for three years before a 16-year run at Rockford Country Club. Beginning in 1997, the tournament rotated between RCC and Forest Hills Country Club until two years ago. The 2019 tournament was held at Aldeen Golf Club.
Over the years, dozens of top professionals and celebrities have played in the Rockford ProAm including Paul Azinger, Fred Couples, John Daly, Hale Irwin, Brittany Lang and Bob Hope.
Nicholas said the tournament will be back as soon as the pandemic is under control.