Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Korea’s top golf event moved to Vegas amid pandemic



Korea’s top golf event moved to Vegas amid pandemic

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Justin Thomas of the US putts on the 18th hole of the CJ Cup last year. Korea’s biggest golf tournament will be held in Vegas this year as Korea has face clusters of Covid-19 infections. AFP

Korea’s top golf event moved to Vegas amid pandemic

South Korea's biggest golf tournament was moved to Las Vegas because of coronavirus restrictions on Tuesday, as the rest of the US PGA Tour’s $30 million ‘Asian swing’ also looked in doubt.

The CJ Cup, originally due to take place on Jeju island from October 15-18, will now be played at Las Vegas’s Shadow Creek course on the same dates, the PGA Tour and sponsors CJ Group said in a joint statement.

South Korea – which had brought its outbreak largely under control, but is now tackling several clusters of infections – has imposed strict limits on travel, with all arrivals required to spend two weeks in quarantine.

Separately, the PGA Tour said it was in talks over the fate of Japan’s Zozo Championship and the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai, which are scheduled to be held in consecutive weeks after the CJ Cup.

With combined purses of $29.75 million, the PGA Tour’s three-stop swing has been the highlight of Asia’s golf calendar in recent seasons.

“We are currently engaged in discussions with the stakeholders of both the Zozo Championship and World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions and will make an announcement shortly on the status of both events,” the PGA said in a statement sent to AFP.

The $10.25 million Shanghai tournament has been under a cloud since Chinese authorities banned most international sports events this year, to guard against coronavirus outbreaks.

All three tournaments attract top-quality players. The Zozo Championship was won last year by Tiger Woods, who equalled Sam Snead’s record of 82 PGA Tour victories.

Asian Tour loses last event

In its three years of existence, the CJ Cup has been won by two former world number ones – Justin Thomas in 2017 and 2019, either side of Brooks Koepka’s victory in 2018.

“While our players have always looked forward to visiting Korea, the current circumstances provided this new opportunity to bring the event to Las Vegas,” said Ty Votaw, the PGA tour’s vice president of international operations.

The CJ Group said it planned to bring the event back to South Korea next year.

Meanwhile, regional golf suffered another blow as the Asian Tour, on hold since March, announced the loss of the only remaining event on this year’s calendar.

Next month’s Shinhan Donghae Open will now be played as a domestic event on the Korean tour because of the travel restrictions, the Asian body said. Just four events have been possible on the Asian Tour this year.

The LPGA Tour’s BMW Ladies’ Championship, due to be held in the South Korean city of Busan in October, was also in doubt on Tuesday as officials await government advice on whether it can go ahead.

“We will follow authorities’ instruction no matter what it will be,” Bret Choi, a representative of the LPGA’s Asia operations, told AFP.

“This is not a matter of choice.”

South Korea has a disproportionate share of the women’s world golf rankings, providing eight of the current top 20 including number one Ko Jin-young.

MOST VIEWED

  • Kingdom's Covid cluster cases jump to 194

    The Ministry of Health on February 25 confirmed 65 new cases of Covid-19, with 58 linked to the February 20 community transmission. The latest cluster cases include nine Vietnamese nationals, five Cambodians, one each from Korea, Singapore and Japan, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total number

  • Locations shut, dozens more Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health has closed 23 locations in connection with the February 20 community transmission of Covid-19 and summoned for testing anyone who had direct contact with affected people and places. The number of discovered related infections has risen to 76, including 39 women. In a press release,

  • Preah Sihanouk hit with travel ban

    Preah Sihanouk Provincial Administration has announced a temporary travel ban to and from the province, except for ambulances and trucks transporting goods. The announcement came after prime minister Hun Sen called on people in the province to travel only if necessary, and that people not

  • Cambodia's Covid cluster cases rise to 137

    The Ministry of Health on February 24 recorded 40 more cases of Covid-19, with 38 linked to the February 20 community transmission. Of the 40, two are imported cases involving Chinese passengers. The 38 include two Vietnamese nationals and one Cambodian, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total cases

  • Covid cluster raises alarm, health bodies urge vigilance

    The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia have expressed great concern over the February 20 cluster transmission of Covid-19 in the community. Both entities appealed for vigilance and cooperation in curbing further spread of the virus. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said

  • AstraZeneca jabs touch down in Phnom Penh airport

    The first shipment of 324,000 doses of the AstraZeneca/SII vaccine which was provided through the Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) Facility was delivered to Phnom Penh International Airport on March 2. The rest of the COVAX provided vaccines will arrive in Cambodia at a later date.