Dismissed: By Keith Pelley, chief executive officer of the European Tour, any concern about holding a tournament in Saudi Arabia. Speaking early Saturday to reporters at the Turkish Airlines Open, Pelley said the Saudi International, the tour’s debut event in the kingdom, will be played despite an outcry against the kingdom after the Oct. 2 death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The Washington Post contributor was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, and he reportedly was killed by operatives with ties to Saudi leadership. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has sought to distance himself from the incident (“Pelley’s Saudi sand trap: Cancel or play?” Nov. 1). “I’ll be very, very clear,” Pelley said. “I’ve had very little – in fact, no – dialogue with partners, with our own government, with the Saudi Arabian Golf Federation or anybody from Saudi Arabia. Saudi International is on our schedule, and we’ll continue to monitor just like we would do with every other country.” The Saudi event, to be played Jan. 31-Feb. 3, is the tour’s third tournament in a three-week stretch in the Middle East to start 2019. Pelley called the region “very important to the European Tour,” which will end its season next week with the annual Race to Dubai finale in the United Arab Emirates (schedule).
Disqualified: From the LPGA’s new Q-Series, Doris Chen, for playing a ball that had been moved from out of bounds, allegedly by her mother, according to a report by Golfweek’s Beth Ann Nichols. According to Golfweek, Chen hit a drive down the left side of the 17th hole Saturday at Pinehurst (N.C.) Resort’s No. 7 course during the seventh round of the eight-round Q-Series. She and her caddie were advised that the ball had been moved, but she played it anyway, Golfweek reported. She was disqualified under Rule 15-3b (“Wrong ball: Stroke play”). Citing anonymous sources on the scene, Golfweek reported that Chen’s mother moved the ball. Chen did not return Golfweek’s call seeking comment. Chen, 25, an American, made only one cut in 12 starts this season on the Symetra Tour, her third year on the developmental circuit, and earned $643. She is the 2010 U.S. Girls’ champion and 2014 NCAA winner out of USC. The Q-Series, which debuted this year as a replacement for the former Qualifying Tournament, awarded Category 14 membership on the LPGA to 48 players – the top 45 and ties – for next season. South Korea’s Jeongeun Lee6 shot 18 under to claim the $15,000 winner’s check (scores).