Golf’s PGA Tour Series-China will bring an early end to its 2019 season after the Clearwater Bay Open tournament became the latest sporting event to fall victim to the ongoing civil unrest in the country.
PGA Tour Series-China is one of the feeder championships operated by the US PGA Tour and the 2019 Clearwater Bay Open had been scheduled for October 17-20 at Hong Kong’s Clearwater Bay Golf & Country Club.
However, PGA Tour Series-China has now cancelled the event meaning its 2019 season will draw to a close at the Macau Championship, which takes place from October 10-13 at Caesars Golf Macau.
“The safety of our players, staff, fans, volunteers and everybody else associated with our tournaments is always at the forefront of anything we do,” PGA Tour Series-China executive director Greg Carlson said. “We have analysed this situation from every angle, and as a group we determined that cancelling the 2019 Clearwater Bay Open is the best decision.
“We wanted to play a 14-tournament schedule, but it was extremely difficult to secure an alternative venue at such short notice. We looked at a variety of options but were unable to find a suitable site and situation.
“Macau is a vibrant part of Asia, and we had a tremendous experience there in 2018 on our first visit to Caesars Golf Macau. While we’re disappointed we can’t finish our season in Hong Kong, we are excited that Caesars Golf Macau will be where we end our year. Because of this late change, we have also increased the purse at the Macau Championship from RMB1.6m (€205,000/$225,000) to RMB2.1m.”
Today’s (Tuesday’s) announcement comes after the Hong Kong Open, an International-tier tournament on the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) Tour, was postponed earlier this month amid the government protests in the region.
PGA Tour Series-China has played two official tournaments at Clearwater Bay Golf & Country Club, in 2016 and 2018, and an unofficial event in 2017. The Series is staged in conjunction with the China Golf Association and the events in Hong Kong and Macau are the only two hosted outside the mainland.
With around half its membership made up of Chinese players, there have been concerns that the Clearwater Bay Open could be a target for anti-Beijing protesters. Carlson said the Series is committed to return to Hong Kong in 2020 and beyond.
He added: “The leaders and members at Clearwater Bay have been very accommodating through the years, and the club has been a great partner. We look forward to continuing our relationship for years to come.”