Asian Tour eyeing extra event in China

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China Daily, May 22, 2018
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The Asian Tour is planning to add to its portfolio of Chinese tournaments after the success of last week's Asia Pacific Classic in Zhengzhou, Henan province.

The event, which is currently one of those tournaments co-sanctioned by the China Tour, attracted over 150 domestic and international players, with American John Catlin earning a two-stroke win ahead of Thailand's Natipong Srithong and Australia's Adam Blyth.

"Having cooperation with the China Tour is extremely important for both tours," said Josh Burack, CEO of the Asian Tour.

"We want to see the China Tour become bigger, better and stronger. The perfect number is five tournaments a year. That's our aim."

Co-sanctioned tournaments offer China Tour players the chance to test themselves against better quality opposition.

"For us, having tournaments in China is very important to the development of the game in China," added Burack.

"When we co-sanctioned with the China Tour, the world ranking points increased from six for the normal China Tour events to 10 for co-sanctioned tournaments like this.

"So, first it's very good in terms of ranking points for Chinese players. Secondly, it gives them a wider range of competition. And, third, of course, if a Chinese player wins, he can earn a card on the Asian Tour."

The Asian Tour is understandably keen to make further inroads into the lucrative Chinese market.

"We now have a good relationship with the China Tour and we hope to add more tournaments in China," said Wanchai Meechai, senior tournament director of the Asian Tour.

"China is a big country with a huge population.

"More people will grew to love golf in China. Maybe a decade ago, not that many people knew about golf, but the sport is now growing very quickly here.

"Years ago, there were not that many good Chinese golfers. Initially, there were only players like Zhang Lianwei and Zhang Xinjun.

"Within a relatively short time, China has nurtured many impressive players, such as Li Haotong."

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