China cancels all international events, putting WGC-HSBC and LPGA event in doubt

July 09, 2020

Ross Kinnaird

China announced it will not stage any international sporting events for the rest of the year due to the coronavirus pandemic, putting the fates of two high-profile golf tournaments in doubt.

China’s General Administration of Sports cited “science and order” as impetus for its decision. The country has largely contained and curbed transmission of COVID-19. However, China is on guard for imported cases of the disease.

What that means for the immediate futures of the WGC-HSBC Champions and LPGA Shanghai is unclear.

There is the possibility the WGC-HSBC, originally scheduled for Oct. 29-Nov. 1, is moved to the United States. But the WGC-HSBC is a tri-sanctioned event by the PGA, European and Asia Tours, and whatever move made would need the blessing of all three circuits. There’s also the prospect the event is canceled and a new temporary event is put in its stead, similar to the situation that saw the Workday Charity Open replace the John Deere Classic on the PGA Tour schedule.

"Following the announcement from the General Administration of Sports of China stating in principle that international sports events in China might not be able to be staged for the remainder of 2020, we are working with our stakeholders to understand the implications for the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions scheduled for October 2020 in Shanghai," the PGA Tour said in a statement. "We are committed to working with our partners to determine the next steps, however the health and safety of our players, tournament teams, fans and sponsors is our top priority."

As for the LPGA Shanghai, scheduled for Oct. 15-18, the LPGA told Golf Digest that “We are communicating with our partners at IMG and the China Golf Association to learn more about this news. We will share more information when it is available.”