The Blue Bay LPGA tournament on the mainland has been cancelled by tour organisers citing "ongoing Covid-related matters".
Other than the Beijing Winter Olympics – held in a closed loop in February 2022 – the mainland has cancelled or postponed most major sporting events over the last few years.
But the LPGA cancellation comes after authorities dismantled most health restrictions in early December and lifted the nation’s border controls.
The LPGA said the event on the southern island of Hainan had been scrapped after guidance from the China Golf Association (CGA), which regulates the sport in the country.
We "very much look forward to returning to Hainan in 2024," the LPGA said in a statement.
The CGA said in a statement that the tournament, originally scheduled to run from March 9 to 12, had been cancelled "due to the epidemic and other related reasons, after consultations with the LPGA".
Blue Bay was one of seven events in Asia scheduled on the 2023 LPGA tour, in which the world's best women golfers will compete for an overall record US$101.4 million in prize money.
It is the fifth year in a row the Hainan event will not take place – it was not included in the tournament schedule in 2019, cancelled in 2020 and 2021 because of the pandemic, and then not included again in 2022. (AFP)