Golf’s Asian Tour returns after long COVID-19 hiatus
Golf’s Asian Tour resumes in November after a lengthy coronavirus hiatus, with four tournaments planned in Thailand and Singapore in the coming months, organizers said Tuesday.
The tour was halted following the Malaysia Open in March last year as COVID-19 prompted lockdowns and international border closures across the region.
The resumption starts on the Thai holiday island of Phuket with the $1-million Blue Canyon Championship from November 25-28, followed by the Laguna Phuket Championship from December 2-5.
Fully vaccinated travelers can visit Phuket without quarantining.
There will be two more tournaments in Singapore in January held over consecutive weeks, the tour said, without giving further details.
All tournaments will be played in “bubbles”, and players will need to be fully vaccinated to compete.
Resuming the tour has been challenging due to “our reach across many countries and each of their COVID-related protocols,” said Asian Tour commissioner and CEO Cho Minn Thant.
“We are confident of being able to complete our season despite several remaining challenges created by the pandemic.”
The resumption will allow the tour to complete its Order of Merit and crown a champion. Thai star Jazz Janewattananond won the title in 2019.
Previous attempts to restart the Asian Tour were scuppered by fresh virus outbreaks across the region, which has been far slower to tee off than its US and European counterparts.