Golf’s Asian Tour returns after long hiatus from COVID-19

FILE–The haze of air pollution hangs in the air over golfers walking through the course during a practice session ahead of an Asian Tour event in New Delhi on Oct. 24, 2018. (Photo by Sajjad HUSSAIN/AFP)

Golf’s Asian Tour will resume in November after a long hiatus from the coronavirus, with four tournaments scheduled in Thailand and Singapore in the coming months, organizers said on Tuesday.

The tour was halted after the Malaysia Open in March last year, as COVID-19 led to lockdowns and international border closures across the region.

The resumption kicks off 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 going into quarantine.

Two more tournaments will be held in Singapore for consecutive weeks in January, the tour said, without giving further details.

All tournaments are played in ‘bubbles’ and players must be fully vaccinated to participate.

Resuming the tour has been challenging due to “our reach in many countries and each of their COVID-related protocols,” said Cho Minn Thant, Asian Tour commissioner and CEO.

“We are confident that we can 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 have been thwarted by new virus outbreaks in the region, which started much slower than its US and European counterparts.

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