Asia’s flagship WGC-HSBC Champions cancelled

SHANGHAI (AFP) – Next month’s World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions in Shanghai, won last year by Rory McIlroy, has been cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic, organisers said yesterday.

Asia’s flagship event, which in 2019 had the largest prize fund of any tournament outside the United States (US) or majors at USD10.25 million, is co-sanctioned by the US PGA, European Tours and Asian Tours.

It had been scheduled to take place from October 29 to November 1 at Sheshan International Golf Club and was the final stop on the PGA Tour’s USD29.75 million three-tournament Asian swing.

But the trio of events, the highlight of Asia’s golf calendar, have been wiped off the continent by the coronavirus after South Korea’s CJ Cup and Japan’s Zozo Championship were relocated to courses in the US.

All international sports competitions in China, except Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic test events, have been cancelled for at least the rest of this year because of the pandemic.

“We have worked extensively with all tours, international officials, the China Golf Association and other local parties to find a solution to host the WGC-HSBC Champions,” said PGA Tour’s Vice-President of International Operations Ty Votaw.

“In line with Chinese government guidelines and being mindful of the logistical implications, we collectively made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 event.”