LPGA cancels Thailand tourney amid virus fears

LPGA cancels Thailand tourney amid virus fears

Top women's golf tour also scraps Singapore and China events

Moriya Jutanugarn of Thailand tees off during the second round off the Honda LPGA Thailand tournament in Pattaya in February last year. This year’s event has been canceled because of concerns about the coronavirus.
Moriya Jutanugarn of Thailand tees off during the second round off the Honda LPGA Thailand tournament in Pattaya in February last year. This year’s event has been canceled because of concerns about the coronavirus.

The Honda LPGA Thailand tournament scheduled for Feb 20-23 in Pattaya has been cancelled because of concern about the coronavirus, the LPGA has announced.

The world’s top women’s professional golf tour, which includes a number of stars from Thailand, also cancelled the HSBC Women's World Championship scheduled to take place from Feb 27 to March 1 in Singapore.

The Tour has now lost all three of its lucrative early-season events in Asia, after cancelling the 2020 Blue Bay LPGA, which was scheduled to take place March 5-8 on Hainan Island in China

The Singapore event, won last year by world number two Park Sung-hyun at Sentosa Golf Club, is one of the most prestigious on the LPGA Tour outside the majors. This year's entries had included all of the world's top 20 players. It had been scheduled to tee off on February 27.

"Due to the continued health concerns and recent advisories in some Asian countries that large-scale events should be cancelled or postponed as a result of the coronavirus, the LPGA and its partners have made the decision to cancel the 2020 Honda LPGA Thailand and the 2020 HSBC Women's World Championship," an LPGA Tour statement said.

Sixty-six players would have played in the Singapore tournament including world number one Ko Jin-young of South Korea, defending champion and compatriot Park and third-ranked Nelly Korda of the US.

Players are currently in Australia where the tour's Australian Open begins in Adelaide on Thursday after the conclusion of the Vic Open in Geelong on Sunday.

After the Australian Open, the players will have a month off before competition resumes at the Founders Cup in Arizona on March 19.

"The health and safety of our players, fans and everyone working on the event is always our highest priority. While we are disappointed that these tournaments will not take place this season, we look forward to returning to Asia soon," said the statement.

Singapore stepped up its disease alert level to the second-highest level on its four-point system on Friday.

Under the upgraded alert, event organisers are advised to cancel or defer non-essential large-scale events.

Singapore had already barred the entry of travellers who had been to China recently from entering or transiting through its territory to counter the spread of the virus.

The city-state also suspended the issuance of visas for Chinese passport holders.


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