The LPGA has announced that the next three events on its 2020 schedule will be postponed until later in the season due to concerns over COVID-19.
The tour hasn’t held an event since the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open in mid-February. That’s now a total of six events that have not been staged.
On Golf Channel Thursday night, LPGA commissioner Mike Whan said: “I feel fairly confident we could probably play Phoenix, maybe we could even play Carlsbad, play without fans and keep everybody else out. … but can I live with it if I’m wrong? If I’m wrong, I regret that the rest of my life.
“If this is a decision that’s wrong the other way, we should have played, I feel terrible about it, but I can live with that. This is a decision that I may not like but I don’t think it’s one I’ll regret.”
Prior to Whan calling in to Golf Central, the LPGA released a statement:
Today, the LPGA informed its players that in an effort to minimize risks with the global outbreak of COVID-19 and following the California Government’s directive regarding events, the next three events on the LPGA Tour schedule are postponed: the Volvik Founders Cup in Phoenix, Ariz., which was scheduled to take place March 19-22; the Kia Classic in Carlsbad, Calif., which was scheduled to take place March 26-29; and the ANA Inspiration in Rancho Mirage, Calif., which was scheduled for April 2-5. The plan is to reschedule these events for later dates in the 2020 season.
The upcoming two events on the Symetra Tour that were set to take place in California were also postponed: the IOA Championship presented by Morongo Casino Resort & Spa in Beaumont from March 27-29 and the Windsor Golf Classic in Windsor from April 2-4.
“This is a difficult situation and as we navigate these uncertain times, we appreciate the support of all those involved with the LPGA. I am fully committed to rescheduling these important events on our 2020 schedule, especially our first major, the ANA Inspiration,” said LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan. “Our thoughts are with all of those around the world affected by this virus. And on a personal level, it pains me to see the impact of this health crisis on our athletes, our sponsors and our fans. That said, I know keeping our LPGA family safe, and all those who follow us safe, has to be my top priority.
“We will continue to monitor this rapidly evolving situation with our global health partners and are planning for different scenarios for future LPGA events should they be necessary.”
World No. 1 Jin Young Ko is one of several top players who have yet to compete this year. Events in Thailand, Singapore and China earlier in the year were previously canceled.
“I 100 percent support our commissioner and the LPGA tour in the decision to cancel/postpone events,” wrote Morgan Pressel in a text. Pressel, of course, is a past champion of the ANA Inspiration.
Brittany Lincicome considers the ANA her favorite event on the schedule, having won it twice.
“I totally get it,” said Lincicome. “We have to keep everyone safe. I was more worried about my dad than Emery. But I pray we figure out a way to reschedule these events.”
Said Brittany Altomare: “I think regardless of my personal opinions, I do believe that Mike Whan and the LPGA are doing what they think is best for all of us. But for me personally, I just can’t wrap my head around how this virus has caused this much panic and has disrupted everyday life like it’s doing.”
The next event on the schedule is the LOTTE Championship in Hawaii, slated for April 15-18.
Source: GOLF WEEK