China Delivers A Knock-Out Blow To LPGA!
Less than one year after a 10-year deal was struck between Alisports (Shanghai), a division of the giant Alibaba Group, to own an LPGA tournament to be hosted annually in mainland China, the Chinese Government has turned nasty and killed this year’s tournament scheduled to start in less than a month.
The tournament was supposed to be a part of the LPGA’s fall Asian swing.
In a shock announcement, the LPGA said that the tournament is being cancelled because of problems in securing local permits. “Unfortunately, we have just received word that the tournament was unsuccessful in obtaining approval from the local district government,” said Michael Whan, the LPGA’s commissioner.
A disappointed Whan explained, “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’s schedule will now feature 33 tournaments, with eight events left this season. In-Kyung Kim won this tournament last year, when it was played at the Reignwood Classic. This is the second time that this has happened – the LPGA had to cancel an event in China two years ago, ten weeks ahead of the event.