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European Tour postpones two events due to coronavirus outbreak

David Cannon/Getty Images
European Tour CEO Keith Pelley. 

By Joel Beall
The European Tour is the latest golf circuit to postpone events in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

On Friday, the European Tour, in conjunction with the Asian Tour, decided to push back two tournaments: the Maybank Championship and the Volvo China Open.

The Maybank, originally scheduled for the week after the Masters and played in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, was postponed by request of the title sponsor, while the Volvo, which was supposed to follow the Maybank, was delayed in consultation with the China Golf Association, the tournament promoters and the government. The Volvo’s host city, Shenzhen, is currently facing restrictions in hopes of containing the virus.

As the disease continues to spread—CBS reported Friday morning that infections have surpassed 55,000 and more than 1,370 have died—the possibility of a delayed or postponed start to the Euro Tour’s Asian swing existed. Discussions are ongoing with all parties looking into the possibility of rescheduling both tournaments later this season.

“The well-being of our players, spectators and staff is always our absolute priority,” said Keith Pelley, chief executive of the European Tour. “While it is therefore regrettable that the Maybank Championship and Volvo China Open have been postponed, we feel this is the correct course of action at this time. We are currently investigating alternative dates for both events.”

Earlier this week the LPGA postponed two more Asian events set for the next month after previously postponing a tournament in China. That followed the R&A’s decision to cancel the Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific Championship, scheduled for Feb. 12-15 at Siam Country Club in Pattaya, Thailand. The PGA Tour China series also postponed its qualifying tournaments and first four tournaments of the season.

 

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