Sports Outside the Beltway

For all the tea- LPGA China event canceled for 2009

The latest bad news for female professional golfers.

The LPGA Tour and the International Management Group (IMG) announced in a joint statement Monday that the China LPGA tournament scheduled for October has been canceled this year.

“The IMG-managed China LPGA tournament, originally scheduled for mid-October, will not be staged in 2009 and we are now focusing our efforts on ensuring the event’s return to China in 2010 and 2011,” the announcement stated. “We look forward to the second half of the 2009 LPGA Tour season, which will include two IMG-managed LPGA Tour events, the Samsung World Championship (Sept. 17-20) and the LPGA Tour Championship (Nov. 19-22).”

With the earlier cancellation of the Kapalua event, the LPGA now has a big gap in its October schedule. The tour will play the Navistar LPGA Classic in Alabama from October 1-4, then returns to action in South Korea on October 30th with the Hana Bank – KOLON Championship.

Now the LPGA is down to 27 tournaments for 2009 after playing 34 in 2008.

The demise of the China tournament was expected for some time. Will the LPGA Tour return there in 2010? I really don’t have a clue, but with the sport of golf expanding in Asia, I think the LPGA will return to China some time down the road.

The China LPGA tournament, a limited field event by Grand China Air, was won by Helen Alfredsson in 2008.

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