The Asian Tour

SINGAPORE - MARCH 11: Martin Kaymer of Germany plays his tee shot on the fifth hole during the final round of The Clariden Leu Singapore Masters at Laguna National Golf Club on March 11, 2007 in Singapore. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
The Asian Tour is, apart from Japan which has its own separate tour, the principal men’s golfing tour in Asia. The first season in this current format was played more than a decade ago in 1995, although there had been attempts earlier to create the tour. In 1998 the Asian Tour became the sixth member of the International Federation of PGA Tours. Official money events on the tour count for World Golf Ranking points.

Players

The majority of the top players of the tour are of Asian origin, but of late, a growing number of players from other parts of the world have begun to participate. A substantial amount of Australian golfers appear on the tour.

Every year, a number of events on the Asian Tour are co-sanctioned with the European Tour with these events offering higher prize purses than the other tournaments. The total prize fund was over $20 million in 2005 compared to just over $12 million in 2004. Most of the tournaments with seven figure totals though are co-sanctioned by the European Tour. As of the end of September 2007, the 2007 season hosted 29 official money events with $27,63 million in prize money.

One of the most talked about facets of the Asian Tour is that fact that in 2006 it became the most prestigious men’s tour on which a woman made the half-way cut in recent times when teenage Michelle Wie achieved this feat at the SK Telecom Open in South Korea. South Korea’s Se Ri Pak did the same on the Korean PGA Tour in 2003, yet that tour is just a feeder for the Asian Tour and does not offer World Golf Ranking points.

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