PGA Tour postpones four tournaments in China due to fear of coronavirus
The PGA Tour Series-China has postponed four tournaments in China previously scheduled for March and April, citing concerns over the coronavirus spreading throughout the country, the Tour announced on Wednesday.
The decision was necessitated by the delay of two qualifying tournaments scheduled for earlier in the season, causing the domino effect of four regular season tournaments to be postponed.
The affected tournaments are the Sanya Championship (March 23-29), Haikou Classic (March 30-April 5), Chongqing Championship (April 6-12) and Guangzhou Open (April 13-19).
The tour indicated it hopes to play the qualifying tournaments in late April or early May and the regular season tournaments in late May or early June.
“We watched and scrutinized the situation closely, and we did not make this decision lightly,” said PGA Tour Series-China executive director Greg Carlson. “After consultation with a variety of agencies, we determined postponement of the qualifying tournaments and the start of the regular season are the best courses of action at this time.
“This is a major international health issue, and we will do everything possible to ensure the safety and well-being of our players and everybody else associated with these two tournaments.”
Coronavirus death toll has reached 1,000
Deaths from the coronavirus topped 1,000 in mainland China on Tuesday, with 43,000 cases identified worldwide. The outbreak has wreaked havoc with travel and other plans across the world, including in sports.
The PGA joins the LPGA, Formula 1 racing, world Indoor Track and Field and Olympic soccer in delaying or relocating upcoming events in China. In the United States, Miami University of Ohio has even postponed basketball games due two students possibly contracting the virus.
Carlson pledged that the PGA Tour would do its best in accommodating the players scheduled to compete in the postponed tournaments.
“We know this alters our players’ plans, and we have been in communication with them, keeping them abreast of the situation,” Carlson said. “Players who signed up for either of these tournaments will have the choice of re-entering the rescheduled qualifying tournaments or receiving full refunds on their application fees.”
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