PGA Tour Series China 2020 season shelved

Motin Yeung of Hong Kong holding the champion trophy poses with NBA legend Scottie Pippen after the PGA Tour Series China - Zhuzhou Classic at Xiangshui Bay Golf Club on September 22, 2019. (Photo by VCG/VCG via Getty Images)

Travel restrictions and the ongoing spread of Covid-19 have led to the cancellation of this year’s PGA Tour Series China 2020.

The PGA Tour Series China is jointly run by the PGA Tour and the China Golf Association. In 2019, it had a 13-tournament schedule.

In January, the series held the first of three planned qualifying tournaments for this season, for players from Mainland China. Two global qualifying tournaments were to follow but were suspended as Covid-19 spread throughout Asia.

Attempts to move the qualifying tournaments have proved impractical and, with access into China limited, officials have decided not to proceed with the series this year.

Earlier this month, the Chinese government’s General Administration of Sport said the country would not be hosting most of its planned international sports events this year due to the fight against Covid-19.

Greg Carlson, PGA Tour Series-China executive director said: “It’s a disappointment, but I know our players and fans understand, given the continuing evolution of the Covid-19 pandemic, that the health and safety of everyone associated with the series is of the utmost importance, and staging a Tour based in China with players from five different continents is just not feasible at this time.

“We have enjoyed five great years in China, and this was shaping up to be the most successful season in our history. We will continue to evaluate what is happening with the coronavirus and hope the situation alleviates itself so we can again resume tournament golf in this part of the world in 2021.”

Players who earned membership of the 2020 series following a top-50 finish on the Order of Merit in the 2019 season will maintain their PGA Tour Series-China status in 2021. Players who earned their cards via the 2020 Mainland China qualifying tournament can also keep their PGA Tour Series-China membership for 2021.

The recent move by the Chinese General Administration of Sport is likely to see several senior golf tournaments in the country affected, including the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions in Shanghai on October 29-November 1, the Buick LPGA Shanghai on October 15-18, and the Rolex Shanghai Masters on October 11-18.