PGA Tour cancels China Series event in Hong Kong for safety

Photo Source: MGN online

BEIJING (AP) -- The PGA Tour Series-China is canceling its tournament in Hong Kong next month because of civil unrest and safety concerns.

The season was supposed to end Oct. 17-20 at Clearwater Bay Golf & Country Club in Hong Kong. Instead, the 13th and final tournament will be held Oct. 10-13 at the Macau Championship.

Hong Kong is in the fourth month of protests that occur every weekend, and some have been violent. The protests started out as opposition to a proposed extradition law and have expanded to include demands for greater democracy. Last weekend, protesters threw gasoline bombs and police responded with tear gas.

Greg Carlson, the executive director of PGA Tour Series-China, said safety was at the forefront of the decision.

"We have analyzed this situation from every angle, and as a group we determined that canceling the 2019 Clearwater Bay Open is the best decision," he said.

Carlson said the tour looked into an alternate site for the tournament without finding one it deemed suitable. He described Macau as a vibrant part of Asia and the tour had a good experience at Ceasars Golf Macau last year.

Because of the late change, the prize money in Macau will increase by 500 million Renminbi to 2.1 million.

PGA Tour Series-China has played two official events at Clearwater Bay in 2016 and 2018, along with an unofficial event in 2017. Carlson said the tour expects to return.

The leading five players from the China tour earn status on the Korn Ferry Tour, the step below PGA Tour membership. Max McGreevy of the United States leads the money list in China.