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Asian Tour condemns Australian PGA


Singapore : The Asian Tour has strongly condemned the Professional Golfers Association (PGA) of Australia for announcing a new professional golf series that it plans to stage in the Asia Pacific region.

The Asian Tour in a statement said it is shocked and disapproves of this desperate attempt by the PGA of Australia to revive its flagging domestic circuit, through its proposed creation of a series by listing events, which are already part of the Asian Tour Schedule.

The statement said, “The Australians have simply renamed the ‘OneAsia’ concept and are making a weak attempt to build on their few remaining events by including existing events on the Asian Tour. They have not brought any new sponsor or events to the table in this initiative. This new series has also not been endorsed by the International Federation of PGA Tours.”

The Asian Tour added that the dates for three of the events that it announced on its purported six-event schedule – the Volvo China Open, Midea China Classic and Pine Valley Beijing Open – have agreements in place with the Asian Tour. All three events have been part of the Asian Tour for several years.

It also said the PGA of Australia has violated the protocols which govern the International Federation of PGA Tours, of which the Asian Tour, PGA of Australia and the Japan Golf Tour Organisation (JGTO) are members. Amongst others, the members are to promote close cooperation to develop golf in their respective regions.

The JGTO also said: “we will never enter into any new initiative in the region unless a proper platform and structure is put in place and this would require the input and involvement of the Asian Tour.”

The Asian Tour said is willing to work with the PGA Tour of Australia to assist its ailing golf tour but are extremely disappointed with the manner in which they continues to act. “Its actions are against the spirit of the game and the ideals of the International Federation of PGA Tours.”

On Friday, the PGA Tour of Australia announced a series of six professional events in the Asia-Pacific region.

The PGA of Australia, which has been keen on the Tour to revive itself as its own tour has been failing to elicit interest, announced the series with six events, three of which will be held in China. Interestingly, all three events – the Volvo China Open (April 16-19, 2009), Beijing Open (May 7-10) and the China Classic (October 15-18, 2009) are already listed in the Asian Tour calendar, announced much earlier. Adding a further twist is the fact that the Volvo China Open is also co-sanctioned by European Tour.

The Australian Open (December 3-6) and Australian PGA Championship (December 10-13) will also form part of the new series, while Korea Open, which is also mentioned in the Asian Tour, is also expected to join in.

The position of the Johnnie Walker Classic, which is tri-sanctioned by the European Tour, Asian and Australasian Tours, is not clear. The 2009 edition is scheduled to be held in February in Perth, Australia.

As of now, no event has been scheduled in Japan for 2009 and it is unlikely to happen this season.