Saturday October 27, 2012
Asian Tour want more places in PGA Tour
THE expanded 2013 CIMB Classic will not lead to an increase in invites for Asian Tour players, the PGA Tour said, drawing a sharp response yesterday from the regional body, who said numbers had yet to be agreed.
The 48-man, co-sanctioned event will add 30 players to the field next year and be part of the 2013-14 FedEx Cup series when it becomes a full-fledged PGA Tour event with a bump in prize money to US$7mil.
Currently, the US$6.1mil event features 10 players from the Asian Tour and two from the PGA Tour of Malaysia, who both sanction the event.
“The eligibility next year is going to be 60 PGA Tour players off our FedEx Cup list and then it will be 10 Asian players off their order of merit and then eight sponsor exemptions,” the PGA Tour’s co-chief operating officer Ed Moorhouse said.
“We just think with the weather at this time of year, if you try and play more than 78 players it is going to be difficult to finish the tournament on Sunday,” he said referring to the seasonal heavy thunderstorms in Kuala Lumpur this week.
The Asian Tour were surprised to hear of Moorhouse’s comments and said that there were meetings planned over the coming days to discuss the invite breakdown.
“As of now, nothing has been agreed on this matter,” Asian Tour executive chairman Kyi Hla Han said via email from Singapore.
“But with the field size increasing from 48 players to 78 players next year, we expect the Asian Tour’s allocation of players to increase proportionately.
“As a sanctioning partner of the CIMB Classic, we expect the new field breakdown to be reflective of our status in the tournament.”
“The PGA Tour are switching their calendar next year and their 2013 season would end in September,” Moorhouse said, adding that the 2013-14 season would begin shortly after with the CIMB Classic expected to be the third event of the campaign. Moorehouse said the PGA Tour were pleased with the success of the CIMB Classic and refused to rule out another PGA event cropping up in the region to compliment the HSBC Champions and World Cup of Golf tournaments they are already associated with.
“Tournament wise we could do another one,” said Moorhouse, who handles the business aspects of the Tour.
“Golf has become a global game with it being in the Olympics in 2016 there is a heightened interest especially in the Asian countries.” — Reuters