CJ Cup moved to Las Vegas from South Korea due to COVID-19

(Reuters) - The PGA Tour's CJ Cup has been switched to Las Vegas from South Korea because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Tour said in a statement here on Tuesday.

The $9.75 million tournament, which has been staged at Nine Bridges on Jeju Island for the past three years, would now be held at the Shadow Creek course in Las Vegas from Oct. 15-18, it said.

South Korea has been one of the world’s novel coronavirus mitigation success stories but recent spikes have seen the total number of cases rise to more than 17,900, prompting the country to tighten social distancing rules.

“While our players have always looked forward to visiting Korea, the current circumstances provided this new opportunity to bring the event to Las Vegas,” PGA Tour executive vice-president, international Ty Votaw said.

“We are thankful for the partnership and support that the CJ Group and Korean PGA have shown in view of the circumstances.”

Justin Thomas sealed a playoff win over Marc Leishman in the inaugural event and prevailed again last year. Brooks Koepka won by four shots in 2018.

The CJ Cup is part of the PGA Tour’s three-event Asian swing which also includes the Zozo Championship in Japan and the WGC-HSBC Champions in China.

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford