The intersection of golf and politics continues to raise uncomfortable questions for the game’s decision makers.
Two days after the tragic London Bridge terrorist attacks, the second in as many weeks in the U.K. after the Manchester concert bombing, the governments of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain severed all diplomatic ties with the Arabian Peninsula nation of Qatar. The reason for the abrupt move was, according to the nations involved, Qatar’s ties to and funding for terrorists, including a cozy relationship with Iran, which the U.S. State Department has identified as the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism.
According to a Reuters report, transportation links between the Arab nations and Qatar were severed, as were all exports, including food. This sparked a run on supermarkets. “People have stormed into the supermarket hoarding food, especially imported ones … it’s chaos,” said Eva Tobaji, an expatriate resident of the Qatari capital of Doha who spoke to Reuters. “I’ve never seen anything like this before.”
So, what does this have to do with golf?
One of the European Tour’s January events is the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters, won this year by Jeunghun Wang in a playoff over Joakim Lagergren and Jaco Van Zyl.
The European Tour headquarters is located at the Wentworth Club in Surrey, just 27 miles west of the London Bridge.
It is not unreasonable to assume that discussions of the Qatar event’s future are ongoing within the tour.