Sport

Sunshine Tour joins global golf pause

2020-03-21 22:20

The Sunshine Tour is the latest to suspend all of its golf tournaments as the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic continues to spread around the world.

In a statement this week, the tour announced that it was suspending all of its activities and would review this decision on April 20.

“This decision was made by the Sunshine Tour board of directors and the players committee, and stands in unity with the International Federation of PGA Tours and world golf’s decision to suspend its activities,” said Selwyn Nathan, commissioner of the Sunshine Tour.

This follows world golf’s decision to stand down amid the current uncertainty around the global spread of Covid-19. The tour actually finds itself in a better position than most tours considering its new schedule is only set to tee off with the Africa Swing in May, so there is a chance that it could still save much of its schedule.

However, the PGA Tour cancelled four more tournaments this week. This will now put the PGA Tour in isolation until May 10.

The European Tour has postponed or cancelled tournaments until May 24.

Only a few weeks ago, golf was still grappling with issues around slow play at its events, and now the global game has come to a complete stop.

Reports have also emerged that the Ryder Cup, which is scheduled to be played in September, is golf’s next big event to be postponed. But this has been denied by the organisers. Olympic golf also remains under threat, and the IOC is monitoring the situation.

The LPGA Tour finds itself in limbo until April 5, and the Ladies European Tour was just able to conclude its co-sanctioning of the SA Women’s Open in Cape Town before it also announced an immediate break in its schedule.

The only major in women’s golf currently affected is the ANA Inspiration (April 2 to 5), which has been postponed.

The Masters (April 9 to 12) was the first major to respond, and postponed this year’s showpiece. This was followed by the PGA Championship (May 14 to 17).

At this point, the US Open (June 18 to 21) and The Open (July 16 to 19) are still going ahead as planned. Although the US Golf Association has cancelled local qualifying for the US Open, it and the R&A have cancelled several of their showpiece amateur events.

Last week, South African Victor Lange became the first professional golfer to test positive for Covid-19 following a tournament on the PGA Tour Latinoamérica circuit.

And GolfRSA has confirmed that all its men’s and women’s amateur tournaments have been cancelled until April 30.

Golf courses are still operating as best as they can and have been deemed safe areas, provided golfers take the necessary precautions and follow government’s health guidelines.

Read: Golf clubs feel the pinch

Only a few weeks ago, golf was still grappling with issues around slow play at its events, and now the global game has come to a complete stop.


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March 29 2020