(Reuters) – The LPGA has decided to cancel Tour qualifying “Q-schools” this year because of the coronavirus pandemic with most players retaining their status for the 2021 season, the elite women’s golf circuit said on Wednesday.
The tour also cancelled another tournament because of the health crisis when it scrubbed the Meijer LPGA Classic in Michigan from the schedule.
The tour, which was suspended in late February after the Australian Open, plans to return on July 23 with the opening round of the Marathon Classic in Sylvania, Ohio.
Commissioner Mike Whan said the decision to retain the same playing roster, with a few exceptions for players returning from medical exemptions or earning cards from tournament wins, was simply a matter of fairness.
“We really felt that the right thing to do was make sure that while COVID-19 is going to affect 2020 for everybody, it shouldn’t affect your career,” he said.
“And you shouldn’t find yourself back trying to play your way onto a tour when you probably didn’t get a chance to play your way on or off a tour in the first place.”
There will be no qualifying for any of the remaining 20 tournaments this year, with the fields to be decided the week before the event.
The Meijer LPGA Classic had already been postponed from June to Oct. 1-4 and will be replaced in the amended schedule by the ShopRite LPGA Classic in New Jersey, which was originally slated for May 29-31.
Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Peter Rutherford