Page last updated at 15:17 GMT, Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Crunch delays golf championships

Artist's impression of new St Mellion Hotel
The course has been getting a facelift for the championship

The English Open golf championship has been postponed for at least two years after developers at the host Cornish course ran into financial difficulties.

The event, which was set to return to the European Tour after a 14-year absence, was due to be held in 2009 at St Mellion near Plymouth in Devon.

The club's owners blamed the credit crunch for hitting sales of 265 homes as part of a 100m club development.

There would have been 100 of Europe's top golfers at the championship.

An estimated 40,000 spectators were expected, with millions watching it on television.

Stephen Lewis, chief executive of Crown Golf, said in a statement: "Unfortunately like many companies the credit crunch has created additional challenges for the third party developers engaged in developing the non-hotel golfers' accommodation at St Mellion.

"A two-year postponement provides a good time frame for all work to be completed and we have reiterated our commitment to The European Tour to host The English Open from 2011."

Keith Waters, of the European Tour, said: "The two year lead-up will enable Crown Golf to progress the project to the high standard both they and us demand for our players."

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