Sanya, China: Sanya Championship tournament officials cancelled the final round of the PGA Tour Series-China event following the death of Malaysian Arie Irawan.
“This is a tragic day in the Tour’s history, and it would not have been right to play the final round,” said PGA Tour Series-China Executive Director Greg Carlson.
“Through Saturday, we had experienced a great tournament and it’s a true tragedy what has happened. Sometimes, though, things happen in life that are bigger than a sporting event. This is one of those times, and after consultation with sponsors, the golf course and Tour staff in Florida, cancelling the final round was the proper decision.”
In an official statement, the Tour said: “Today, in Sanya, China, Arie Irawan of Malaysia died at his hotel of apparent natural causes. The official coroner’s report has not been completed. Irawan, 28, was in China playing in the Sanya Championship, the second event of the 2019 PGA Tour Series-China season. He had missed the 36-hole cut.
“The PGA Tour and the China Golf Association grieve at this loss of one of our members and share sincere condolences with Arie’s wife, Marina, and his parents, Ahmad and Jeny. When something of this magnitude occurs in the golf world, we all grieve at the same time.
“Out of respect for the family, officials cancelled the final round of the Sanya Championship, the tournament becoming a 54-hole event.”
Trevor Sluman, the overnight leader, was declared the 2019 champion.
Sluman shot a third-round, six-under 66 yesterday to take a two-shot lead over Matt Gilchrest, Max McGreevy and Michael Perras.
Sluman’s victory counts as an official PGA Tour Series-China win, and the RMB288,000 he earned for finishing in first also counts on the official Order of Merit.
“My heart goes out to Arie’s family and his beautiful wife, Marina,” said the former University of Louisville golfer, in his second season playing the PGA Tour Series-China. “Along with the rest of the Tour, we are thinking about them at this time. It’s very bittersweet today, and I think the rest of the year will be dedicated to Arie and the impact he had on this Tour.”