Global travel restrictions force the Series to point to 2021
BEIJING—As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect all parts of the world, the PGA TOUR in close consultation with the China Golf Association made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 PGA TOUR Series-China season. Access into China and the continued global spread of the illness made it impossible to proceed with these tournaments at this time.
In January, the Series held the first of three planned Qualifying Tournaments, for players from Mainland China. The Series also scheduled two additional Global Qualifying Tournaments open to players from the rest of the world, but once the pandemic spread throughout Asia, it ended the ability for the Series to hold those events as planned. Attempts to move the Qualifying Tournaments to other Southeast Asia sites were not practical, and with access into China limited, officials came to the difficult decision that it couldn’t contest tournaments this year.
“It’s a disappointment, but I know our players and fans understand—given the continuing evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic—that the health and safety of everyone associated with the Series is of the utmost importance, and staging a TOUR based in China with players from five different continents is just not feasible at this time,” said Greg Carlson, PGA TOUR Series-China Executive Director. “We have enjoyed five great years in China, and this was shaping up to be the most successful season in our history. We will continue to evaluate what is happening with the coronavirus and hope the situation alleviates itself so we can again resume tournament golf in this part of the world in 2021.”
Earlier this year, the Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada also had to cancel its season due to restrictions at the Canada-U.S. border and mandatory quarantines for those entering Canada because of COVID-19.
“Like with the Mackenzie Tour, there was so much growing uncertainty in China with getting into the country and all the things associated with traveling there,” Carlson added. “We looked at many different options and scheduling models that might have allowed us to even play an abbreviated schedule, and it turned out to not be feasible.”
PGA TOUR Series-China made its debut in 2014 and has seen members move on to both the Korn Ferry Tour and the PGA TOUR while also competing in international competitions such as the Presidents Cup and the Olympics.
Series officials have already notified members and provided information regarding their eligibility going forward. Players who earned membership following the 2019 season via a top-50 finish on the Order of Merit will maintain their PGA TOUR Series-China status in 2021. The players who earned their cards via the 2020 Mainland China Qualifying Tournament can keep their PGA TOUR Series-China membership for 2021, as well.
About PGA TOUR Series-China
PGA TOUR Series-China is a professional golf tour, featuring open-competition to all nationalities. PGA TOUR Series-China attracts players, mainly from Asia and other Pacific Rim countries, although members have come from five continents. PGA TOUR Series-China is owned and operated by the PGA TOUR and sanctioned by the General Administration of Sport of China. It operates in partnership with the China Golf Association and Shankai Sports. The top-five points-earners from PGA TOUR Series-China earn Korn Ferry Tour membership for the following season.