Naomi Osaka pulls out of Pan Pacific Open due to illness

Naomi Osaka pulls out of Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo due to illness on Thursday. (Getty Images/Kyodo/Getty Images) Naomi Osaka has pulled out of next month’s Pan Pacific Open due to illness, the tournament’s…

Naomi Osaka pulls out of Pan Pacific Open due to illness

Naomi Osaka pulls out of Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo due to illness on Thursday. (Getty Images/Kyodo/Getty Images)

Naomi Osaka has pulled out of next month’s Pan Pacific Open due to illness, the tournament’s secretary said Thursday. The 22-year-old’s withdrawal opens up a three-week window early in the 2018 season for players hoping to land spots at next week’s world golf tour stop in Australia.

“It is with a heavy heart that we must announce that we are unable to allow Naomi to compete on March 26 in Melbourne as originally scheduled,” the Pan Pacific Open announced in a statement.

Osaka will play the inaugural Australian Open in July instead.

Pan Pacific Open said it was “deeply saddened” by “the sudden, untimely and unforeseen circumstances that have resulted in this situation.”

“We will work with the Japanese player in this situation to understand and support in their current situation and we will be in consultation with the United States Open and the Ladies European Tour to decide next steps,” the tournament said.

But the LPGA, which is in contact with Osaka, said “we are taking all necessary precautions to ensure the safety of our players and staff.”

Pan Pacific Open has been working through the Japanese government and the PGA Tour to ensure the Japanese Tour team would be able to compete in Australia next month. The tournament said it expects confirmation of that Wednesday.

Osaka had only begun to play in tournaments as a professional in January, after an 11-shot win in the ASB Classic, the first of only two tournaments she has played in 2018. By the time she went to Australia to compete at last month’s Ladies European Tour event in Japan, she had made some recent tournament appearances. She’s won a tour event and two LPGA Tour events since the beginning of the year, though.

Osaka missed both the LPGA Tour’s Players Championship in Hawaii and the LPGA Tour’s Honda Classic in Hawaii for the

Leave a Comment