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New COVID-19 variant wreaking havoc on DP World Tour's South African swing

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The newly rebranded DP World Tour is starting its inception with a major bump in the road, as a new COVID-19 variant has forced alterations to the tour's South African swing. 

After a slew of British and Irish players withdrew Friday from the Joburg Open after the U.K. government placed a ban on flights from South Africa, the DP World Tour announced the event will be reduced to 54 holes to "help non-South African resident players, caddies and tournament support staff return to their home countries."  The final round will take place Saturday morning in a two-tee start with players grouped in three-balls.

Many WD from Joburg amid variant travel ban

Many WD before Day 2 after the U.K. announced it was banning flights from South Africa to counter the spread of a new COVID variant.

The DP World Tour also announced in a joint statement with the Sunshine Tour that The South African Open Championship, set to be played next week at the Gary Player Country Club, will go on as scheduled but will be played solely as a Sunshine Tour event. 

The Alfred Dunhill Championship, which was set to be played following The South African Open, has been canceled because of the "adverse effect the travel restrictions will have on the field."