LPGA scrap Shanghai tournament over coronavirus

Last year’s LPGA Shanghai was won by American world No 2 Danielle Kang. (AFP pic)

SHANGHAI: The LPGA Tour on Wednesday cancelled their Shanghai tournament after China said it will not hold most international sports events this year because of coronavirus.

LPGA Shanghai, won last year by American world No 2 Danielle Kang, had been scheduled for Oct 15-18 but has been scratched “given the current health concerns and significant travel restrictions”, the tour said in a statement.

“(We) very much look forward to returning to Qizhong Garden Golf Club, Shanghai in 2021,” it added.

It now appears inevitable that the men’s prestigious US$10.5 million World Golf Championship-HSBC Champions, due to take place two weeks later in Shanghai, will also be cancelled.

Almost all leading international sports events in China this year, including WTA and ATP tennis, have been scrapped as the country tries to prevent imported virus cases.

The Formula One Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai, which was postponed in April, also looks doomed.

Men’s and women’s professional golf has made a tentative return in the US and Europe, but with no crowds and under strict virus-prevention protocols.

The LPGA Tour 2020 season was shut down by the pandemic in February after just four events, two in Florida and two in Australia.

It teed off again only two weeks ago with back-to-back tournaments, without crowds, in Ohio, both won by last year’s Shanghai champion Kang.

The leading women’s tour moves its bio-secure bubble to Scotland this week for the Scottish Open in North Berwick followed by next week’s first major of the season, the British Women’s Open at Troon.