Golfers don masks on fairways as smog chokes Beijing's big sporting weekend

    Story highlights

    • Beijing's biggest sporting weekend of 2013 was marred by hazardous smog levels
    • Players at an LPGA tournament took to the fairways wearing surgical masks
    • Swedish tennis player Robert Lindstedt called the air quality "a disaster" and "a joke"
    • Event organizer David Shin says Beijing may struggle to continue to attract top talent
    International golfers were choking on the greens in Beijing over the weekend -- but it wasn't due to an outbreak of the yips.
    Hazardous levels of pollution descended on the Chinese capital during its biggest sporting weekend of the year so far, affecting competitors and spectators alike at an LPGA golf event and the China Open tennis championship, which boasted such big names as Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams.
    The sight of golfers wearing surgical-style face masks at the Reignwood LPGA Classic was hardly the advertisement that the sport was seeking for the first Ladies Professional Golf Association event to be held in China. Play was delayed for several hours Sunday to attempt to give the smog time to clear, before players including Germany's Sandra Gal and Colombia's Mariajo Uribe took to the fairways donning masks.
    Spectators at tennis' China Open, where Djokovic trium