Next week’s European Tour scheduled Magical Kenya Open has become the latest golf tournament to fall foul of the Coronavirus.
After the MENA Tour postponed the remainder of its 2020 schedule on Thursday and the Alps Tour followed suit by postponing events in Cairo, the European Tour, due to a decision made by the Kenyan Government, has also seen an upcoming event postponed.
A statement from the Tour read:
“Due to the threat posed by the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), the Government of Kenya has this morning advised of their decision to postpone all meetings and conferences in the country of an international nature, a suspension which will be reviewed in a month’s time.
“This means the Magical Kenya Open Presented by Absa on the European Tour, scheduled for the Karen Country Club in Nairobi next week from March 12-15, will now not take place.
“Keith Pelley, Chief Executive of the European Tour said: ‘We understand and totally respect the decision made by the Government of Kenya in these difficult times.
‘We are looking into the possibility of rescheduling the tournament at some point later in the season, but that remains simply a possibility right now – we have no definitive plans at this stage.
‘I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank President Uhuru Kenyatta and the Kenyan Government for their unwavering support, alongside Kenya Open Golf Limited Chairman Peter Kanyago and Tournament Director Patrick Obath for their strenuous efforts and commitment. We look forward to returning to Kenya in due course.’”
The news comes after European Ryder Cup Captain, Padraig Harrington had his say on how the virus is affecting golf’s 2020 calendar at this week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill.
“I am certainly not an expert on the Coronavirus but it is a concern that the MENA Tour has made this decision but then we will have to wait and see what unfolds, and if the PGA Tour and European Tour reacts,” said Harrington.
“I don’t second guess getting ahead of the virus and it’s proving to be something that is hard to put a lid on.
“I know the main tours are receiving regular updates from the world’s leading health bodies and all we can do is go by their advice.”
The decision to postpone the final six events on the MENA Tour comes as a blow to the likes of Irish golfers Conor Purcell, Rory McNamara and Conor O’Rourke who are now virtually without a tour to compete. Most certainly better safe than sorry in this instance, however.
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