Tour stars ready for busy 2nd half of season

Mon 02 Sep 2013

Tour stars ready for busy 2nd half of season

  • SHARE
Singapore, September 2: The second half of the Asian Tour’s 2013 season will resume with this week’s Omega European Masters in Switzerland launching a busy and lucrative run of tournaments to conclude its milestone 10th season.
The €2.2 million (approximately US$2.8 million) Omega showpiece, which starts on Thursday, is co-sanctioned with the European Tour and will welcome back the region’s top stars as they continue their battle for the coveted Asian Tour’s Order of Merit crown.
Asia’s best will also be keen to rake up Official World Golf Ranking points which will be used to determine the field for the US$8 million World Cup of Golf in Melbourne in November and the Olympics Games in Rio De Janeiro in 2016.
From the Swiss Alps, the Asian Tour will then travel the length and breadth of the region to other destinations including Chinese Taipei, Japan, Korea, Macau, Malaysia, China, India, Macau, the Philippines, Australia, Indonesia, Hong Kong and Thailand.
A total of 18 events will be played from now until the third week of January, 2014 with nearly US$40 million at stake.
Thai ace Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who will spearhead the Asian charge in Switzerland this week, currently leads the Order of Merit with US$664,620, courtesy of his triumph in the Maybank Malaysian Open in March.
Scott Hend of Australia Scott Hend of Australia
Should he hold on to the top spot when the 2013 concludes in January, he will receive invitations to The Open Championship and World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship in the United States next year.
“Winning the Order of Merit will be my goal for the rest of the season,” said Kiradech, who is one of the most exciting players to emerge on the scene in recent years.
However, with several high-profile events coming up in the next few months, Kiradech knows the likes of India’s Gaganjeet Bhullar, Australia’s Scott Hend and compatriot Thongchai Jaidee, the only man to win three Merit crowns, will be hot on his heels.
Asian Tour Chairman Kyi Hla Han believes the race to the finish line will be a closely fought affair. “Over the next few months, I’m sure we will witness many more defining moments that will shape our historic 10th season. It will be interesting to see if Kiradech can hold on to his lead in the race to become the new Asian Tour number one but there are many worthy players behind him.
“I’m sure there will be many other new and deserving champions emerging in the second half of our season and I’m confident it’ll be an exciting time for everyone involved with golf at the highest level in Asia,” said Han.
A host of world-class stars led by American Phil Mickelson, who won The Open Championship in July, and South Africa’s Ernie Els, who recently became an Asian Tour honorary member and international ambassador, will grace Asia’s pristine fairways over the coming months.
Mickelson will headline the US$7 million CIMB Classic in Malaysia, co-sanctioned with the PGA Tour, while Els will feature in the US$800,000 Venetian Macau Open, both in October.
Golf in the Philippines will be greatly enhanced with the launch of the inaugural US$750,000 Resorts World Manila Masters in November with the Asian Tour newest tournament expected to attract the top players from the region.
Indonesia’s national championship, the US$750,000 Indonesia Open will also make its much-awaited return onto the Tour’s Schedule after a three-year absence at the Pantai Indah Kapuk course.
The Asian Tour will also visit Japan for the Asia-Pacific Panasonic Open, co-sanctioned with the Japan Golf Tour while Korean star K.J. Choi will aim to win his own tournament, the CJ Invitational hosted by KJ Choi, for a record third time next month.
The events in the second half of the Asian Tour schedule are the €2.2 million (approximately US$2.8 million) Omega European Masters, the US$500,000 Yeangder Tournament Players Championship, US$1.48 million Asia-Pacific Panasonic Open, US$600,000 Mercuries Taiwan Masters, US$750,000 CJ Invitational hosted by K.J. Choi in Korea, US$800,000 Venetian Macau Open, US$7 million CIMB Classic in Malaysia, US$8.5 million WGC-HSBC Champions in China, US$1.25 million Hero Indian Open, US$750,000 Resorts World Manila Masters, US$8 million World Cup of Golf, US$750,000 Indonesia Open, US$1.3 million Hong Kong Open, US$1 million Thailand Golf Championship and US$1 million King’s Cup in Thailand. The US$500,000 Volvik-Skylake Vietnam Masters is slated for January before the 2013 season-ending tournament in Malaysia.
About the Asian Tour
In 2013, the Asian Tour will celebrate a momentous milestone with its 10th season. As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include Abacus (Official Apparel Partner), Canon (Official Imaging Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Supplier), Saxo Capital Markets (Official Statistics Partner), Singha Beer (Official Beer), Srixon (Official Ball), Subway (Official Quick Service Restaurant), Starwood Hotels and Resorts (Official Hotels and Resorts) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). The Asian Tour has offices in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Also, visit us at www.asiantour.com, www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf, www.twitter.com/asiantourgolf, www.youtube.com/theasiantour and www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf