By GERALD IMRAY
AP Sports Writer
CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) — Golf, cricket and rugby have become the first major sports to be affected by the new COVID-19 variant. The emergence of the new variant has prompted fears of renewed travel restrictions and disrupted events just as they were returning to normal nearly two years into the pandemic. European golfers withdrew midway through the season-opening DP World Tour tournament in Johannesburg and were scrambling to catch flights out of South Africa. Visiting cricket and rugby teams were doing the same. The new B.1.1.529 variant that was first identified in South Africa is causing concern over fears that it may be more transmissible than current variants and resistant to vaccines.