Golf: Asian Tour’s Shinhan Donghae Open returns to Korea; Japan switch scrapped


(Reuters) – Plans to host this year’s Shinhan Donghae Open in Japan have been scrapped due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Asian Tour said on Thursday, with organisers now set to continue the golf tournament at its regular home in South Korea.

South Korea’s Shinhan Financial Group, the tournament’s title sponsors, had planned to host the 36th edition in Nara prefecture in September as part of its efforts to “leverage more active Korea-Japan exchanges through sports”.

The tournament, sanctioned by the Asian Tour, Korean PGA and Japan Golf Tour, would return to Bear’s Best Cheongna Golf Club at Incheon, which has been hosting the tournament since 2015, the Tour said in a statement

“…the Shinhan Financial Group has decided to postpone the move to Japan indefinitely because of preparation concerns arising from travel restrictions,” the Tour said.

The event will be played from Sept. 10-13.

On Wednesday, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the government was expanding a ban on the entry of non-Japanese people to cover 73 countries as policymakers try to contain the coronavirus outbreak.

The number of countries was increased by 49, including the United States, China and South Korea, he said.

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford