Bright Outlook On And Off The Course
Full steam ahead for the Asian Tour in 2017
It has been a busy and rewarding year for the Asian Tour in 2017 thus far and my team and I have embraced the challenges to sustain what we have seen as positive growth in the last few months. Our talented players and staff members are truly excited with the recent announcement that we will return to China after an eight-year hiatus.
We are now working extremely hard to stamp our return by staging Asian Tour events along with our partners, the China Golf Association, in the Middle Kingdom once again. Hopefully I will be able to share more details with all of you in my next column, so stay tuned.
I’m delighted to reveal that we are on the verge of announcing a new Tour Partner. It will be a very exciting partnership which will enhance the earning opportunities of our membership which is one of our key objectives as an organisation.
In my last column I wrote about the landmark announcements which will see the Asian Tour breaking fresh ground at the Fiji International later this year. In March, we also had 10 Asian Tour members featuring for the first time in the ISPS HANDA New Zealand Open, an event which we hope to fully sanction from next yeare onwards with the PGA Tour of Australasia.
I’m happy to add that we will be launching new events on our 2017 Schedule very soon and this will create even more playing opportunities to our talented members. These are indeed exciting times for the
Asian Tour and I’m glad to be a part of it!
The commercial outlook for the game in
Asia and the Asian Tour looks very positive, which mirrors the great performances of our members in recent months.
I’m sure many of you watched the TV broadcasts or closely followed the Hero Indian Open on www.asiantour.com and our social media platforms and joined us in celebrating S.S.P. Chawrasia’s stunning victory in March. The Indian star brilliantly retained his title in sensational style, winning his National Open by a whopping seven shots. His victory was lauded by golf fans in Asia and also by his peers.
While Chawrasia hogged the limelight, Gavin Green of Malaysia also made his mark in his blossoming career. The 24-year-old former amateur star finished second in India which was enough to secure his Asian Tour card for 2018. What’s interesting to note is that Green is among seven players in the top-10 of the Asian Tour Order of Merit still in their 20s while Phachara Khongwatmai of Thailand, who is ranked third, is only 17 years old. How amazing is that?
In the month of April, we welcomed the first Major tournament on the golf calendar and I would like to congratulate Sergio
Garcia of Spain for winning the Masters Tournament. Sergio has been a strong supporter of golf tournaments in Asia where he has competed regularly in the region and in fact has won tournaments in Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam over the years.
It is still our hope and dream to witness more Asian golfers challenging for a Major trophy and emulating Y.E. Yang’s historic triumph at the 2009 PGA Championship. Asian golf is on a rise so don’t be surprised if this happens sooner than you think.