Singapore (April 25): Health and safety will be the over-riding factors as Asia-Pacific Golf Confederation (APGC) officials explore the possibilities of resurrecting a tournament schedule that has been decimated by the Coronavirus outbreak that has brought the sporting world to a standstill.
Instead of representing the APGC at Spain’s La Manga Club this week in the Bonallack Trophy and Patsy Hankins Trophy, the region’s elite amateurs are, like the majority of the global population, under lockdown in their homes.
The Ryder Cup-style match play contests that pit Asia’s finest male and female amateurs against their counterparts from the European Golf Association is the latest tournament to fall by the wayside in the wake of Covid-19.
The cancellation of the bi-annual gathering follows the postponement of February’s Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific in Thailand and last month’s Queen Sirikit Cup in Indonesia. The Diamond Cup, a professional tournament played in Japan and co-sanctioned by the Japan Golf Tour Organisation and the Asian Tour and supported by the APGC, and the Nomura Cup, both due to be held in the coming months, have also been called off.
Meanwhile, a decision is expected next month on whether it’s feasible to proceed with plans for the APGC Junior Mitsubishi Corporation Cup, which is due to take place in China in August.
Beyond that, the 12th Asian Amateur Championship is slated to take place at Australia’s Royal Melbourne Golf Club at the end of October, while a final-quarter date and venue for the APGC Senior Championship has yet to be confirmed.
Taimur Hassan Amin, Chairman of the APGC, the region’s ruling golfing body, said: “Since the staging of the Asia Pacific Amateur Championship in Shanghai last September, the Coronavirus has emerged to change the world. The virus has impacted the world politically, economically and socially, prompting a distinct change in the way we all live our daily lives.
“This horrible disease has affected the scheduling of the entire sporting world’s calendar, including golf. Given the circumstances, we have had no choice but to cancel, postpone or reschedule many of our own events.”
Amin said every effort will be made to reschedule the postponed events in the second half of 2020, should general conditions improve sufficiently and travel restrictions be eased.
He said: “At this time, we hope and pray that everybody is safe, healthy and following the advice of the relevant health authorities in their respective countries.
“We are constantly monitoring the situation and are in touch with national associations around the region. Obviously, we would like to be able to go ahead with some of our events later in the year.
“Of course, the health and safety of all our players and officials and those at the host venues is of paramount importance and will always be foremost in our minds in any decision-making process.
“For the time being we are planning for all eventualities and doing everything we can so that if the situation improves and the relevant authorities agree that events can proceed then we’ll be in a position to act with speed.”