Two major events on international golf calendar – Maybank Championship and Volvo China Open – have been deferred indefinitely in wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
The deadly coronavirus in China has forced the organisers to postpone the Maybank Championship Golf, which was scheduled to take place at the Saujana Golf and Country Club in Kuala Lumpur from April 16 to 19. The Volvo China Open, a European Tour event in Guangdong, China, due to take place from April 20 to 23, has also been postponed.
The Asian Tour and European Tour accepted a request from title sponsor and promoter Maybank to postpone the Maybank Championship, while the decision to postpone the Volvo China Open was taken after consultation with tournament stakeholders — the China Golf Association, Genzon Golf Club, Shenzhen Government, title sponsor Volvo and promoters Mitime Golf.
Discussions are ongoing with all parties looking into the possibility of rescheduling the tournament later this season.
Keith Pelley, Chief Executive of the European Tour, said: “The well-being of our players, spectators and staff is always our absolute priority. While it is therefore regrettable that the Maybank Championship and Volvo China Open have been postponed, we feel this is the correct course of action at this time. We are currently investigating alternative dates for both events.”
The coronavirus, which has killed nearly 1,500 people and infected over 60,000 across the world, has been declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Cho Minn Thant, Commissioner and CEO of the Asian Tour said: “We respect the decision made by the various key stakeholders of the Maybank Championship. We understand their concerns over the evolving Covid-19 situation which is a major international health issue and we look forward to the return of the Maybank Championship when the situation normalises.”
The spread of the virus, known as Covid-19, has either postponed or cancelled a number of sporting events in China and other Asian countries.
In golf, tournaments run by the LPGA Tour, R&A and PGA Tour Series-China have been either cancelled or postponed.
The LPGA Tour has recently cancelled three big Asian events over the coming weeks in Thailand and China as well as its HSBC Women’s World Championship in Singapore.