Golf: LPGA Tour cancels Asia swing due to Covid-19, adds Georgia event

South Korea's Lee Mi-rim plays a tee shot on the fifth hole during the final round of the ANA Inspiration in the US on Sept 13, 2020.
South Korea's Lee Mi-rim plays a tee shot on the fifth hole during the final round of the ANA Inspiration in the US on Sept 13, 2020.PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (REUTERS) - The LPGA Tour has cancelled the BMW Ladies Championship in South Korea and Toto Japan Classic due to travel restrictions amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the elite women's professional golf circuit said on Tuesday (Sept 15).

The US$2 million (S$2.7 million) BMW Ladies Championship was scheduled to take place from Oct 22-25 in Busan, while the Toto Japan Classic was slated for Nov 6-8 in Ibaraki.

The Tour said both events will return to the schedule in 2021.

The announcement means all four events of the LPGA's Asian swing, which also included events in China and Taiwan, have now been cancelled due to the novel coronavirus outbreak.

The LPGA, however, added a second Drive On Championship to the schedule, which will be held on the Great Waters Course at Reynolds Lake Oconee in Greensboro, Georgia from Oct 22-25.

"We greatly appreciate the efforts by our partners at BMW and TOTO to try to host their events this season and we look forward to returning to Korea and Japan in 2021," LPGA commissioner Mike Whan said.

"Since we unfortunately cannot travel to Asia, we felt it was very important to add another competitive opportunity for our players."

The LPGA Tour restarted its season after the coronavirus shutdown with the LPGA Drive On Championship, which took place from July 31-Aug 2 at Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio.