South Korea’s biggest golf tournament, the CJ Cup, was moved to Las Vegas on Tuesday because of coronavirus restrictions. The rest of the PGA Tour’s $30 million ‘Asian swing’ is also looking in doubt.
The CJ Cup was originally due to take place on Jeju island from 15 – 18 October. It will now, however, be played at the Shadow Creek golf course in Las Vegas on the same dates. The sponsors, CJ Group and the PGA Tour released this information in a joint statement on Tuesday.
“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 the PGA tour’s vice president of international operations, Ty Votaw.
The CJ Cup has been won by two former world number ones, Justin Thomas (2017 and 2019) and Brooks Koepka (2018) in its three years of existence. South Korea is now tackling several clusters of infection, even though they have largely brought their outbreak under control.
It has imposed strict travel limits, including that all arrivals will be required to spend two weeks in quarantine. Asian swing under fire In another possible turn of events, the PGA Tour also SAID it was in talks over the fate of both the Japan’s Zozo Championship and the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai which are currently scheduled to be held in consecutive weeks after the CJ Cup.
“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 declared in a statement sent to AFP.
The PGA Tour’s three-stop Asian swing has been the highlight of the Asian golf calendar in recent seasons, with a combined purse of $29,75 million. The Shanghai tournament, with a purse of $10,25, has been under a cloud of uncertainty ever since Chinese authorities banned most international sporting events this year, because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Regional golf suffered another blow as the Asian Tour, on hold since March, now announced the loss of its only remaining event on the year’s calendar. The Shinhan Donghae Open, due to take place next month, will now be played as a domestic event due to the travel restrictions.
Only four Asian Tour events has been possible this year. The LPGA Tour's BMW Ladies' Championship, due to be held in Busan, South Korea, is also in doubt as officials await government advice on whether it can go ahead. The CJ Group is reportedly planning to bring the CJ Cup event back to South Korea next year.