Pro golfer Arie Irawan found dead during PGA Tour Series-China event

A major PGA Tour-affiliated golf tournament in China had its final round canceled on Sunday after one of the participants was found dead in his hotel room.

Malaysian golfer Arie Irawan, 28, was discovered unresponsive in his bed by his roommate and fellow professional golfer, Kevin Techakanokboom, who quickly summoned help from emergency medical personnel, but sadly, to no avail.

Sad end to promising career

Irawan was ultimately pronounced dead following about 45 minutes of unsuccessful CPR and resuscitation efforts. The death was attributed to natural causes, but an official report from the coroner has yet to be released.

Irawan missed the 36-round cutoff point on Saturday, but had remained on site to provide support for his friends and fellow golfers.

The Kuala Lumpur native first gained significant attention as a recipient of a four-year golf scholarship from the University of Tulsa, where he attained Academic All-American status and graduated with a degree in management information systems.

Following college, Irawan turned pro in 2013 when he joined the Asian Development Tour, winning two events in 2015.

Irawan also participated in the Asian Tour, the PGA Tour of Australasia and the PGA Tour Series-China, the series in which he was playing when he died. This weekend’s tournament was at the Sanya Yalong Bay Golf Club on Hainan Island in the South China Sea, and Irawan was staying at a hotel located right across the street from the golf course.

Golf world mourns

The executive director of the PGA Tour Series-China, Greg Carlson, said in a statement, “This is just a terrible tragedy that affects all of us who are part of a very tight-knit family here in China.”

“Arie played with us in 2018, his first full year on our Tour, and I know he was excited about this season as he continued his professional golf pursuits. We are incredibly saddened by this news, and we extend our sincere condolences to his wife and family,” Carlson added.

American golfer Trevor Sluman, who was in the lead going into the final day’s play, was declared the winner of the curtailed tournament. He was followed by three other American golfers who tied for second place, following just a few strokes behind.

Sluman said in a statement, “My heart goes out to Arie’s family and his beautiful wife, Marina. Along with the rest of the tour, we are thinking about them at this time. It’s very bittersweet today, and I think the rest of the year will be dedicated to Arie and the impact he had on this tour.”

Irawan’s death is a truly sad event for the golf world generally, but especially for his family and friends on the tours.

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