Andalucia Masters postponed, EuroPro Tour season cancelled
By Keith Jackson
Last Updated: 17/03/20 5:44pm
The European Tour will not return until May at the earliest after the next event on the schedule was postponed due to the ongoing coronavirus threat.
The Estrella Damm NA Andalucia Masters, hosted by the Sergio Garcia Foundation, was hoped to be the return of competitive golf in Europe, with Christiaan Bezuidenhout set to defend his title at Valderrama starting on April 30.
But the tournament is the latest to be pulled from the schedule, while the GolfCatcher PGA EuroPro Tour have announced the cancellation of their entire 2020 season shortly before the start of Qualifying School for the European Tour's third tier.
A statement from the European Tour read: "The Estrella Damm NA Andalucia Masters, which had been scheduled to take place from April 30-May 3 at Real Golf Club Valderrama in Spain, has been postponed due to the ongoing threat posed by Coronavirus (COVID-19).
"The decision was made in consultation with tournament stakeholders, the Junta de Andalucía, Real Club Valderrama, the Sergio Garcia Foundation and title sponsor Estrella Damm, in light of travel restrictions in Spain.
"Discussions are ongoing with all parties looking into the possibility of rescheduling the tournament at a later date."
European Tour chief executive, Keith Pelley, added: "We are all taking a day-by-day approach at the moment and we continue to assess the impact of Coronavirus on all our events.
"Following discussions with all parties involved, it was clear that postponing the Estrella Damm NA Andalucia Masters hosted by the Sergio Garcia Foundation at this point is the correct course of action. Public health and well-being remains the absolute priority for all of us."
There was further bad news for European golf on Tuesday afternoon when EuroPro Tour chief executive officer, Dan Godding, confirmed their 2020 season had already been written off by Tour officials and title sponsors, Matchroom Sport.
A statement read: "With the recent developments of Covid-19, the PGA EuroPro Tour and Matchroom Sport have decided to cancel the 2020 schedule and season.
"This incorporates all events and Q School. All memberships and Q School entries will be refunded.
"We will be looking at the possibility of organising some events later in the year once the threat of the Coronavirus has been subsided, however, in the meantime, there are no plans for golf in 2020.
"Our thoughts are with everybody affected by the Covid-19 outbreak at this difficult time."