SINGAPORE - The HSBC Women's World Championship, scheduled to take place from Feb 27-March 1 at the Sentosa Golf Club, has been cancelled due to the ongoing coronavirus situation.
The Honda LPGA Thailand, which was to be held from Feb 20-23 in Pattaya, will also not be played.
This makes the HSBC tournament the most high-profile sports event in Singapore to be affected by the coronavirus issue thus far. Last week, the Ministry of Education announced the suspension of the National School Games till March, while a slew of smaller sports events have been either cancelled or postponed.
A statement released by the LPGA Tour on Monday (Feb 10) read: "Due to the continued health concerns and recent advisories in some Asian countries that large-scale events should be cancelled or postponed as a result of the coronavirus, the LPGA and its partners have made the decision to cancel (the two tournaments).
"It is always a difficult decision to cancel events and the LPGA greatly appreciates the understanding and all the efforts made by our title sponsors (Honda and HSBC) as well as IMG to host incredible events for our players.
"The health and safety of our players, fans and everyone working on the event is always our highest priority. While we are disappointed that these tournaments will not take place this season, we look forward to returning to Asia soon."
IMG managing director of golf events Grant Slack added: "Based on the Singapore Ministry of Health's recommendations relating to the Dorscon elevation to orange, and with the health and safety of the players, spectators and event personnel our highest priority, we have taken the decision to cancel the 2020 HSBC Women's World Championship."
The US$1.5 million (S$2.06 million) HSBC Women's World Championship has been held here since 2008 and regularly features a world-class field. This year, it was to include South Korean world No. 1 Ko Jin-young, and her compatriot, world No. 2 Park Sung-hyun, who is the defending champion.
Organisers say customers who have purchased tickets will receive a full refund. Refunds are through the following methods:
1. Payment by credit card (except SingPost transactions) - refund will be automatically credited to the same credit card used for the transaction. It will take 14 business days for credit card refund to be processed.
2. Payment by cash / NETS and SingPost transactions - customers are to proceed to the APACTix outlet at Kallang Wave Mall located in Singapore Sports Hub with their physical tickets and photo ID at the address below from Feb 12-March 3 2020 for cash refunds.
For enquiries, call +65 3158 8588 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Last year's HSBC golf event drew 32,044 spectators during the tournament week.With the LPGA announcing the cancellation of the March 5-8 2020 Blue Bay LPGA at China's Hainan Island last month, it means that half of its six events in Asia have been affected.
However, the HSBC is not the first global sports event affected by the coronavirus in the last few weeks. The World Indoor Athletics Championships, which had been due to be held in China next month, has been postponed till next year. Many events such as Olympic qualifiers for boxing and women's football had also been relocated out of China in recent weeks.
In Singapore, 43 people have been infected with the virus thus far, with six in critical condition. Four have been discharged.
Last Friday, Singapore moved its disease outbreak response up a level to orange as the coronavirus spread further within the country, with more new cases of unknown origin announced.
Under the Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (Dorscon), orange is one step below red, which signifies an out-of-control pandemic. At orange, the outbreak is deemed to have moderate to high public health impact, but the situation is still under control.