Coronavirus forces Tour to cancel Volvo China Open and Maybank Championship

2019 Volvo China Open winner Mikko Korhonen – the 2020 tournament has been postponed because of the Corona-virus

Finland’s Mikko Korhonen – winner of the 2019 Volvo China Open, which has been postponed because of the Corona-virus threat, along with Malaysia’s Maybank Championship, in April. Picture by GETTY IMAGES

TWO European Tour events in Asia – scheduled to be played in April – have been postponed because of the health threat posed by the outbreak of the Corona-virus.

The Maybank Championship and the Volvo China Open have both been postponed following the outbreak in China in December, of what has now been named Covid-19 – by the World Heath Organisation – after the corona-virus spread to a number of different countries, including the UK, this month.

The European Tour and Asian Tour accepted a request from title sponsor and promoter Maybank to postpone the Maybank Championship – due to take place at Saujana Golf & Country Club in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – from April 16-19.

Meanwhile the decision to postpone the Volvo China Open scheduled for April 23-26, at Genzon Golf Club, in Shenzhen, was taken following consultations with the China Golf Association, Genzon Golf Club, the Shenzhen Government, title sponsor Volvo and promoters Mitime Golf.

Discussions are ongoing with all parties looking into the possibility of rescheduling both tournaments later this season.

European Tou chief executive Keith Pelley said: “The well-being of our players, spectators and staff is always our absolute priority.

“While it is therefore regrettable the Maybank Championship and Volvo China Open have been postponed, we feel this is the correct course of action at this time.

“We are currently investigating alternative dates for both events,” added Mr Pelley, whose members lower down the Race to Dubai rankings face a much harder task to retain their European Tour cards, if the two events are not able to be rescheduled later in the year.

Datuk Abdul Farid Alias, group president and chief executive of Maybank, said: “The decision to postpone the Maybank Championship was made after intense deliberation and careful consideration in the interest of all the players, visitors, working teams and partners.

“The postponement of the Maybank Championship was not an easy decision to make.

“However, the safety of all stakeholders takes precedence, and we want to ensure that any risk of possible exposure to Covid-19 is mitigated.

“We will monitor the situation and work closely with the European and Asian Tours, as well as our other partners, as we plan for our return in the future.”

•Last year’s Volvo China Open was won by Finland’s Mikko Korhonen. Australia’s Scott Hend would have been the defending champion in the Maybank Championship.

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