LPGA’s Oc­to­ber Shang­hai event can­celled

Manila Times - - GOLF - AFP

MI­AMI: The Alisports LPGA tour­na­ment sched­uled to be played in Shang­hai Oc­to­ber 5 to 8 has been can­celled due to lo­cal per­mit­ting prob­lems in China, the LPGA an­nounced.

“It is with deep re­gret that I need to an­nounce that we will not be play­ing the event in Shang­hai this year,” LPGA Com­mis­sioner Mike Whan said in a state­ment is­sued in Day­tona Beach, Florida.

“Un­for­tu­nately, we have just re­ceived word that the tour­na­ment was un­suc­cess­ful in ob­tain­ing ap­proval from the lo­cal dis­trict gov­ern­ment.

“The hard­est part about this news is that we have a ti­tle spon­sor, a tour­na­ment op­er­a­tor, a TV pro­duc­tion group and a host venue all set to go. How­ever, in China, sport­ing events of this na­ture can­not take place with­out ap­provals at mul­ti­ple lev­els -- and the lo­cal ap­proval was de­nied.”

The LPGA an­nounced in Oc­to­ber of last year that it was part­ner­ing with Alisports of Shang­hai, a di­vi­sion of Alibaba Group, to own an LPGA tour­na­ment hosted an­nu­ally in main­land China for the next 10 years.

While Whan called it “very dis­ap­point­ing” that the event had to be can­celled less than a month be­fore it was sched­uled to take place, he added that “given the strong spon­sor­ship and de­sire to host the LPGA, we look for­ward to re­turn­ing in 2018”.

The tour­na­ment was won last year -- when it was called the Reign­wood LPGA Clas­sic and played in Bei­jing -- by seven-time LPGA win­ner Kim In-Kyung of South Korea.

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