SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Asian Golf tour announced on Sunday that it plans to resume its 2020 season in September with the Shinhan Donghae Open in South Korea as regional governments take steps to ease the spread of the new coronavirus .
The $ 1.181 million tournament will kick off September 10 in the South Korean city of Incheon, with consecutive events in Taiwan and Japan in the weeks following, said the governing body of men's professional golf in Asia.
The Asian tour season, which began in January in Hong Kong, was suspended in March after governments imposed travel and travel restrictions to contain the coronavirus epidemic.
“We are aiming for a cautious restart in September due to the current situation with restrictions on air travel and large gatherings,” Asian Tour chief executive Cho Minn Thant said in a statement.
Asian governments have started to slowly ease closures as infection rates slow in some countries, but there are concerns about a second wave of infections when economies reopen completely.
“The ultimate lifting of quarantine periods will determine the ability of the Tour to resume large-scale operations,” said Cho.
The Asian tour targeted between 10 and 12 events from September to December, he said.
While they hoped to recover much of the season, Cho said that there were already plans to extend it until 2021.
He also said that the first tournaments would look different due to the tightened health and safety regulations.
“If we are to minimize the number of foreign travelers traveling to a host country, we may have to do without private shopping carts, entourage and support staff,” said Cho.
The U.S. PGA Tour resumes in Texas on Thursday, while golf in Europe resumes with the British Masters on July 22.
Report by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; Editing by Ana Nicolaci da Costa
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