Coronavirus causes "cancellation" of tour event

Coronavirus

As fears continue to mount over the spread of the deadly coronavirus, the LPGA has taken the "difficult decision" to cancel an event it was due to stage in China in March.

Officials from the World Health Organisation yesterday declared the outbreak - which originated in the Wuhan province of China and has since spread rapidly - a global emergency,

At present, there are more than 10,000 confirmed cases in 19 countries around the world, with over 200 people in China having died from the virus.

On Thursday evening, the American government issued a "do not travel" to China warning to its citizens.

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This has prompted the LPGA to cancel the Blue Bay LPGA tournament, which had been scheduled to take place on China’s Hainan Island from March 3-5.

"Any time you cancel an event, it is a difficult decision and we appreciate how hard our title partner, IMG, the China LPGA and the China Golf Association have worked to host an incredible event," the LPGA said in a statement.

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"The health and safety of our players, fans and everyone working on the event is always our highest priority. While we are disappointed that the tournament won’t take place this season, we look forward to going back to Blue Bay in 2021 and for many years to come."

The event debuted on the LPGA in 2014, with South Africa's Lee-Anne Pace winning. It last featured in 2018, when Gaby Lopez from Mexico claimed the title.

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The European Tour is due to visit China in April for the 26th edition of the Volvo China Open. This morning, a spokesperson for the tour told bunkered.co.uk: "We are in regular contact with the appropriate Chinese and international authorities to ensure we have the latest health and safety and travel advice.

"The Volvo China Open from April 23-26 in Shenzhen remains on our schedule but we are continuing to monitor the situation closely. As with all our tournaments, the well-being of players, spectators and staff remains our absolute priority."

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