The European Tour's Middle East swing is set to get underway next week in Abu Dhabi with Dubai and Saudi Arabia the following two weeks
Iran Threat To European Tour Middle East Swing
The European Tour’s Middle East swing is scheduled to get underway next week but could be in jeopardy over safety fears amid US-Iran tensions.
General Qasem Soleimani was killed in a US strike in Baghdad last week and Iran launched missile attacks on two US air bases in Iraq earlier today.
Authorities are calling for caution when travelling to the middle east.
“The incident has led to increased tensions in the region,” it reads on the gov.uk website regarding travel to both the UAE and Saudi Arabia.
“There is a possibility of an increased threat against Western interests and the security situation could worsen with little warning. You should remain vigilant and keep up to date with the latest developments.”
The UAE hosts both the Rolex Series Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship next week before the Dubai Desert Classic the week after.
World No.1 Brooks Koepka is also playing in Abu Dhabi, with defending champion Shane Lowry, 2017 and 2018 champion Tommy Fleetwood and Patrick Cantlay also teeing it up.
There has been no withdrawals by any players yet from any of these events and no official statements from the European Tour on whether the events will or won’t go ahead.
2019 Dubai Desert Classic winning Bryson DeChambeau, who is playing in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, has said, however, that he is “really not sure” if he’ll make the trip as “no American is safe,” he said in a Twitch gaming stream.
“The safety of our players, staff and stakeholders and everyone involved in each and every one of our tournaments around the world is our top priority,” the European Tour told Golf Digest.
“The European Tour constantly monitors what is happening in all of our host countries, taking any safety advice from the relevant agencies where appropriate, and we will continue to do so for all of our tournaments around the world.”
The Tour recently had to postpone the Hong Kong Open a week before it was due to take place, so there is still every possibility that the Middle East swing could be affected.
“The decision has been taken due to the ongoing level of social unrest in Hong Kong,” European Tour’s chief executive Keith Pelley said in November.
“As the safety of our players, staff, stakeholders and everyone involved in each and every one of our tournaments around the world is our top priority, we feel this is the correct, but unfortunate, course of action.”
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