Europe and Asia join forces to form new golfing alliance

In what appears to be a pincer movement on the Aussie-backed OneAsia Tour, the Asian Tour and European Tour have joined forces to create a regional mega-organisation to strengthen their presence.

EurAsia Golf Ltd is a new alliance between the Asian Tour and European Tour and represents a tangible joint venture in which a company has been set up featuring representatives from both sides.

Over the past year, OneAsia, led by the Australasian PGA Tour with help from China, Korea and India, has threatened to move in on the Asian Tour’s turf with a six-tournament schedule, although this was later reduced to five.

And indeed, the Asian Tour seemed to be feeling the blows as a handful of sponsors and tournaments pulled out. However, this new organisation at least shows where the Europeans’ loyalties lie.

According to an Asian Tour press release, the alliance aims to fortify existing co-sanctioned tournaments, launch new ones and strengthen relationships with sponsors, promoters, national associations and governing bodies.

European Tour Chief Executive George O’Grady, making the announcement from Loch Lomond in Scotland, said:

“This alliance is born out of a 10 year working relationship between both Tours during which we have reached understanding on tournament field eligibility, suitable scheduling of tournaments, excellent venues, TV production and distribution and prize funds.”

Asian players have been great beneficiaries of jointly sanctioned events with Taiwan’s Yeh Wei-tze, India’s Arjun Atwal and Jeev Milkha Singh, Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee, Thaworn Wiratchant and Chapchai Nirat, Korea’s Charlie Wi and Chinese duo Zhang Lian-wei and Liang Wen-chong having won such tournaments in the past.

Up to now there have been 56 co-sanctioned events since the first one in Malaysia in February, 1999. Asian countries that have hosted joint tournaments are: China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Qatar, Singapore and Taiwan.

Among the big names who have enjoyed success in Asia are: Ernie Els, Retief Goosen, Padraig Harrington, Phil Mickelson, Jose Maria Olazabal and Vijay Singh.

The European Tour has reinvented itself with the launch of the Race to Dubai concept this season, which replaces the previous Order of Merit.

The Tour culminates in the US$20 million Dubai World Championship.

Leave a Reply