Hong Kong: The Olympics going ahead in Tokyo this year is "highly unlikely", the boss of Asian golf told AFP, and proceeding as planned could cost players the chance to qualify.
The International Olympic Committee said this week it was "fully committed" to holding the Games from July 24 despite the coronavirus pandemic, but acknowledged there was no "ideal" solution as pressure mounted for a postponement.
Asian Tour Commissioner and CEO Cho Minn Thant confirmed that all tournaments across the continent had been suspended until at least the end of May, in line with the US PGA and European Tours.
"I think everyone right now is more in a state of shock, just trying to figure out what they do with themselves," said Cho, speaking by telephone from Asian Tour headquarters in Singapore.
With the prospect of scarcely any competitive golf before the Olympic rankings qualifying cut-off on June 22, Cho said it would be harsh on players from unheralded golf nations.
"Our plan initially was to have about 16 or 17 tournaments before the Olympic cut-off," Cho said. "Today, we probably have only about four or five Asian Tour players eligible for the Olympics."
On current rankings, only Thailand's Jazz Janewattananond and Gunn Charoenkul, the Indian pair of Rashid Khan and Udayan Mane plus Miguel Tabuena of the Philippines would represent the Asian Tour in the 60-strong Tokyo field.
"Given the amount of golf that was left to be played, we were hopeful that more players from nations like Bangladesh, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines would have the opportunity to get into the Olympics over the next two or three months," said Cho.