Concerns about the coronavirus outbreak prompt the developmental tour to move next month’s qualifying tournament to a course yet to be determined
The PGA Tour has cast a wary eye on the widening coronavirus outbreak and the disease’s potential effect on the developmental tour in China.
A PGA Tour Series China qualifying tournament scheduled for Feb. 25-28 in Haikou will be relocated to an undetermined course, according to Joel Schuchmann, the PGA Tour’s vice president of communications.
In statement emailed Thursday to Morning Read, Schuchmann said, “PGA TOUR Series-China’s No. 1 priority is and will continue to be the health and welfare of our members, potential members, employees and others affiliated with the Series.” He added that the China tour expects to make an announcement early next week.
The China tour schedule lists the Sanya Championship on March 26-29 on Hainan Island as the season opener. Earlier this week, Golfweek reported that the LPGA will cancel its tournament in China scheduled for early March on Hainan Island, citing concerns about coronavirus. Late Thursday, the LPGA made it official with the cancellation.
The European Tour also has an upcoming date in China with the Volvo China Open on April 23-26 in Shenzhen, near the southeast coast. The tour has made no announcement about the event. The PGA Tour doesn’t play in China until the fall, at the WGC HSBC Champions in Shanghai.
The death toll from coronavirus has reached 170, according to news reports Thursday, with more than 8,200 confirmed cases, most of them near the sprawling metropolis of Wuhan in eastern China. Six cases have been confirmed in the U.S., including the first known person-to-person transmission. There is no vaccine for the virus, which is a respiratory infection with symptoms similar to a common cold but often producing deadly consequences.
The World Health Organization has declared coronavirus to be a public health emergency, only the sixth time that the Geneva-based group has issued such a warning.