No vaccine, no pro tour?

Dante Navarro - Philstar.com
No vaccine, no pro tour?

MANILA, Philippines – While the US PGA Tour is set to return to action next week after a three-month break, the local version of pro golf may have to wait a little longer before it could resume play.

“The PGT (Philippine Golf Tour) said that we have to wait for the vaccine before we could ever play again,” said two-time PGT winner Michael Bibat.

The local circuit cut short its qualifying school last month due to the coronavirus pandemic and has called off its scheduled tournaments in the men’s and ladies tours. But the former Asian Games bronze medalist said the sponsoring ICTSI has twice provided financial support to the touring pros during the break.

The organizing Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. has been in constant talks with various golf clubs as to the possibility of resuming operations following the easing up of quarantine restrictions in the country. But from the looks of things, the PGTI would settle for no less than the availability of the vaccine before it could resume operations again in its effort to ensure the health and safety of the players, its personnel and the golf club workers.

“Hopefully, they can come up with one soon. It’s been tough for us (pros) the last three months but we’re still hoping for the best,” said four-time Philippine Golf Tour Order of Merit winner Tony Lascuña.

The global race to develop a COVID-19 vaccine to shield people from the infection is underway with more than 90 vaccines under development from governments, non-profit organizations and private companies, raising hopes for its development earlier than summer of 2021.

In fact, some vaccines are in stages of human clinical trials while other developers, including those in China and the US, have already posted preliminary but promising results from their respective vaccine trials.

However, experts say new vaccines typically take years to earn approval with authorities expecting a coronavirus vaccine to be ready by mid of next year.

Meanwhile, the world's top five players, led by No. 1 Rory McIlroy, banner the loaded field in the Charles Schwab Challenge on June 11 with no gallery allowed in Texas, the first since the Arnold Palmer Invitational last March.


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