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LPGA cancel Korean event due to military action

The LPGA Tour and event sponsors on Monday canceled the Sports Today Classic as a result of the military action taken by the United States and its allies in Afghanistan.

The next event on the LPGA Tour schedule, the inauguarl Sports Today Classic was to be played from October 19-21 at the Nine Bridges Resort in Jeju, Korea.

It is unknown what the tour will do with the next two events, both of which are scheduled to be played in Japan -- the World Ladies Match Play Championship from October 25-28 and the Mizuno Classic from November 2-4.

The United States initiated retaliatory strikes in Afghanistan on Sunday in the wake of terrorist attacks in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania on September 11.

Sports Today senior executive director Chun Sang Don said it was in the best interests of everyone involved to cancel the event, "in light of the world situation and military action."

"While we want to host the best women golfers in the world in Korea, we also want to have this event at a time when our fans and players can fully enjoy the experience," Don said.

Don added that Sports Today looks forward to hosting the event in 2002.

This year's tournament was to be a homecoming for several LPGA Tour members, including Se Ri Pak, who is challenging Swedish star Annika Sorenstam for Player of the Year honors.

The Sports Today Classic also was to be one of the richest events on the tour this season, featuring a $1.5 million purse. Only the U.S. Women's Open and Evian Masters offered larger prizes.

Tour commissioner Ty Votaw said the event's sponsor did everything it could to hold the tournament, but was unable to do so because of the events of the last few days.

"Due to the current air of uncertainty, this was the most prudent action," said Votaw, who added that the tour and its members look forward to competing in Korea next year.

Travel is the most obvious concern for athletes these days, especially golfers, who often fly with family members on a weekly basis. Most tour members live in the United States during the season.

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