Tuesday, March 02, 2010


From the looks of it, a clash between the Asian Tour and the PGA is on the cards judging from the clash of dates in staging the Iskandar Open and the inaugural Asia Pacific Classic PGA Tour.

The first PGA Tour event in the region -- the Asia Pacific Classic PGA Tour will be held at The Mines Resort and Golf Club, Seri Kembangan, from Oct 28 to 31 while the Asian Tour in announcing their 2010 calendar of events earlier this year listed Oct 28-31 as the dates for the Iskandar Open, to be held at the Royal Johor Golf Club which will offer a minimum of USD 1 million purse.

The dates are the centre of contention as the top players tend to be in this region during that period for on Nov 4-7 the SGC-HSBC Champions will be held at the Sheshan International GC, Shanghai with a total purse of US$7 million.

And this will be followed by on Nov 11-14 with the Barclays Singapore Open at the Sentosa GC, Singapore offering US$5 million prize money.

The Hong Kong Open which will be played at the Hong Kong GC will be next from Nov 18-21 offering a total of US$2.5 million.

Ironically the PGA Tour received a strong backing from CIMB Group, a prominent banking group in the country, that emerged as its title sponsor at an annual cost of USD 8.5 million with the sponsorship signing ceremony between CIMB Group and the Mines Resort and Golf Club held at the resort on Tuesday.

The PGA Classic will offer a total prize money of US$6 million (RM21 million) and the winner of the competition would walk home with US$1 million (RM3.5 million).

The 40-man field competing in the prestigious tournament would comprise the top 25 players from the PGA Tour's final FedExCup, top-10 available players from the Asian Tour's Order of Merit and at least one Malaysian professional.

The Asian Tour's busy stretch of events will kick off from July till December. The Tour's biggest events - the Barclays Singapore Open, the Hong Kong Open, Iskandar Johor Open and WGC-HSBC Champions in China - will be held during the latter part of the season from October, which will ensure another thrilling conclusion to the Asian Tour's Order of Merit race.

Hence it will be good if the Asian Tour will confirm if it indeed has given sanction to the PGA Tour and in the process make changes to its own calendar, at the expense of the Iskandar Open.

2010 Asian Tour Schedule October and November

Oct 7-10: Indonesia President Invitational, Course tba, Jakarta, US$400,000.

Oct 14-17:
Macau Open, Macau GCC, Macau, US$500,000.

Oct 28-31:
Iskandar Johor Open, Royal Johor CC, Johor Bahru, Malaysia, US$1 million (minimum).

Nov 4-7:
WGC-HSBC Champions, Sheshan International GC, Shanghai, US$7 million.

Nov 11-14:
Barclays Singapore Open, Sentosa GC, Singapore, US$5 million.

Nov 18-21:
Hong Kong Open, Hong Kong GC, Hong Kong, US$2.5 million.

Nov 25-28:
Event tba

Dec 2-5: King's Cup, Venue tba, US$300,000.

Dec 9-12:
Event tba.
Dec 16-19: The Tour Championship, Details tba