Two Chinese golfers, Shanshan Feng and Yu Liu, withdrew from this week's Swinging Skirts LPGA Taiwan Championship on Tuesday. And according to Reuters, this had nothing to do with an issue specific to either player, but everything to do with their home country.
Reuters reports someone "high up" in the Chinese government told Feng, a former World No. 1, and Liu to skip the event amid growing tensions between China and Taiwan.
“They said I can’t respond regarding the issue of withdrawing from the competition,” Liu, an LPGA rookie who played collegiately at Duke, told Reuters via her official account on the Twitter-like social-media platform Weibo. Liu added her decision was "not for personal reasons."
Both Feng and Liu had played each of the past two weeks to kick off the Asian swing of the tour's fall schedule.
Someone working at the tournament told Reuters neither player would be fined for such a late WD "given the circumstances," though there was no elaboration as to what those "circumstances" are. Feng and Liu's agent, Ruby Chen, denied her players were being pressured into not playing. However, Chen also didn't provide Reuters with an explanation.
Feng, a nine-time LPGA winner and the bronze medalist at the 2016 Olympics, had finished runner-up and T-3 the past two years at the Taiwan event.