By Joel Beall
Though a sense of normalcy begins to return to the sports world—evidenced this week with the Masters welcoming patrons back to Augusta National—news items from other outputs in golf served as reminders that the COVID-19 pandemic and its reverberations remain.
On Wednesday the European Tour and LPGA announced events on their respective tours have been paused due to the ongoing world health crisis. On the European front, the Old World circuit has postponed the Open de France, originally scheduled to begin May 6 at Le Golf National in Paris, after President Macron announced France would be extending its COVID-19 restrictions last week.
“It is clearly disappointing to have to postpone the Open de France, particularly after all the hard work and collaboration between ourselves, the Fédération Française de Golf and the many stakeholders involved to stage the tournament in May,” said Keith Pelley, chief executive of the European Tour. “But we feel it is the responsible decision.”
Both the European Tour and the FFG will continue to work together in an effort to reschedule the Open de France later this season. The Euro Tour is also looking for a tournament to fill its May 6-9 void on the calendar.
While tournament and tour officials remain optimistic about the Open de France’s prospects, the LPGA could not share the same outlook with its Blue Bay competition. Scheduled to begin in May 13 on Hainan Island in China, travel restrictions have forced the LPGA to cancel the tournament.
“We thank Hainan Greentown Blue Bay, the China Golf Association, CLPGA and IMG for all their efforts and very much look forward to returning to Hainan in 2022,” the LPGA said in a statement.
The European Tour returns next week with the Austrian Open, while the LPGA visits Hawaii for the LOTTE Championship.