Play suspended at Japan Tour event due to North Korea missile launch

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Play suspended at Japan Tour event due to North Korea missile launch

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Play suspended at Japan Tour event due to North Korea missile launch

We thought there could be some scary weather when it comes to golf tournament delays, but this type of suspension is on a whole new level.

The Japan Golf Tour suspended second-round play Friday at the ANA Open not due to the weather and not due to darkness. No, play was halted at the tournament because of … North Korea launching ballistic missiles???

Yep.

Griffin is an Australian golfer competing in the event, played at the Sapporo Golf Club Wattsu Course on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, and simply gave notice as to why everything had been halted.

As several news outlets reported, North Korea fired the missile over Hokkaido on Friday. This is the second time in less than a month that North Korea has launched a missile over Japan.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reprimanded North Korea for the country’s “dangerous” behavior after this most recent launch.

“The international community needs to unite and send clear message after North Korea’s dangerous provocation,” Abe told reporters. “We must let North Korea understand there is no bright future for North Korea if it continues in this way.”

As for those in the golf tournament in Japan, Griffin went on Australian radio and clarified that he woke Friday morning to a text alert that said North Korea launched a missile. He added that a few minutes later, another text came in alerting that the missile had landed in the Pacific Ocean.

“That was a relief,” Griffin said.

While play was delayed because of the missile launch, it ultimately resumed within an hour. Griffin fired a 2-under 70 and sits in a tie for 23rd at 3 under.

But that’s the short-term picture. Griffin offered that the atmosphere around the tournament is one of more apprehension than usual.

“If something does start up, then we’re in the worst, worst place,” Griffin said. “So I think there is definitely a bit more talk of it, a bit more tension around (that) something may happen.”

Griffin said he would be taking a wait-and-see approach regarding the situation in Japan, although the Aussie noted that his family was “going quite crazy this morning.”

His loved ones may be concerned, but this is Griffin’s job after all … which leaves him and other competitors in somewhat of a bind.

“It’s kind of a difficult position to be in,” Griffin said. “If you walk away and go home and don’t play anymore, you lose your job. We’ll just have to wait and see.”

Still, Griffin isn’t being cavalier about this at all.

If matters do turn in a more dangerous direction, he’s clear on his instructions.

“If tensions do increase at all, I’ll definitely be jumping on a plane as soon as possible,” Griffin said.

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