Asian Tour

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Asian Tour
Current season, competition or edition:
Current sports event 2018 Asian Tour
Sport Golf
Founded 1995
Director Jimmy Masrin
Countries Bangladesh
Hong Kong
India
Indonesia
Japan
Macau
Malaysia
Mauritius
Philippines
Switzerland
Taiwan
Thailand
Vietnam
Most titles Thailand Thaworn Wiratchant (18)
Official website AsianTour.com

The Asian Tour is the principal men's professional golf tour in Asia except for Japan, which has its own Japan Golf Tour, which is also a full member of the International Federation of PGA Tours. Official money events on the tour count for World Golf Ranking points.

The Asian Tour is administered from Singapore. It is controlled by a board with a majority of professional golfers, and a Tournament Players Committee of its player members, supported by an executive team. The chairman of the board is the Indonesian businessman Jimmy Masrin.

History[edit]

The first season in the current lineage was played in 1995, although there had been earlier attempts to create an Asian Tour. The Asian PGA was formed in July 1994 at a meeting in Hong Kong attended by PGA representatives from eight countries. In 1998 the Asian Tour became the sixth member of the International Federation of PGA Tours.

In 2002, the tour moved its office from Hong Kong to Malaysia and in 2004 the tour was taken over by a new organisation established by the players, who had been in dispute with the previous management. In 2007 it moved to new headquarters on the resort island of Sentosa in Singapore,[1] which is also the home to what was at that time the tour's richest sole sanctioned tournament, the Singapore Open.

In 2009 a rival tour, the OneAsia Tour, was established. Relations between the two tours are hostile.

In 2010, the Asian Tour launched the Asian Development Tour (ADT) as a developmental circuit. The first year saw five events being played while in 2015, a record 28 tournaments with US$2.2 million was offered to ADT players.

Players[edit]

Most of the leading players on the tour are Asian, but players from other parts of the world also participate (as of 2007 the country with most representatives profiled on the tour's official site is Australia).

In 2006 the Asian Tour became the most prestigious men's tour on which a woman has made the half-way cut in recent times when Michelle Wie did so at the SK Telecom Open in South Korea.

Among the ways to obtain an Asian Tour card is to be among the top 35 (including ties) at the Tour's qualifying school, finishing in the top 5 of the Asian Development Tour Order of Merit, and placing in the top 60 of the previous season's Order of Merit. The winner of the Asian Tour Order of Merit also receives entry into The Open Championship.

Tournaments and prize money[edit]

Each year the Asian Tour co-sanctions a number of events with the European Tour, with these events offering higher prize funds than most of the other tournaments on the tour as a result. While most of these tournaments have been in Asia, the Omega European Masters in Switzerland has been co-sanctioned from 2009 to 2017. In addition, the two tours sometimes tri-sanction events with the Sunshine Tour or PGA Tour of Australasia in those tours' respective regions. The Asian Tour also co-sanctions tournaments with the Japan Golf Tour.

Since 2008, 50 percent of players' earnings from the US Open and The Open Championship have counted towards the Asian Tour's Order of Merit. The two Opens were singled out from the other majors because they have open qualifying which Asian Tour members may enter.[2]

Asia's richest event, the HSBC Champions, was first played in November 2005 with a prize fund of $5 million. The tournament is co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and the earnings were counted towards the money list for its first three years before it became a World Golf Championships event in 2009. From 2009 to present, the earnings are not counted towards the Asian Tour Order of Merit.

Another limited-field event in Malaysia, the CIMB Classic, was launched in 2010 with a $6 million purse. The first Asian Tour event to be co-sanctioned by the US-based PGA Tour began as an unofficial event on that tour, but it started to offer official money and FedEx Cup points in 2013.

In 2016, the tour's richest sole-sanctioned event was the Venetian Macao Open, with a prize fund of $1.1 million.

By year[edit]

The table below summarises the development of the tour since 2004, when the current organisation took control.

Year Official money tournaments Total prize fund (US$)
2009 28 39,150,000[3]
2008 32 43,550,000[4]
2007 28 27,730,000
2006 26 23,990,000
2005 27 20,115,000
2004 21 11,400,000

Order of Merit winners[edit]

Year Leading player Country Earnings (US$)
2017 Gavin Green  Malaysia 585,813
2016 Scott Hend  Australia 1,004,792
2015 Anirban Lahiri  India 1,139,084
2014 David Lipsky  United States 713,901
2013 Kiradech Aphibarnrat  Thailand 1,127,855
2012 Thaworn Wiratchant  Thailand 738,047
2011 Juvic Pagunsan  Philippines 788,299
2010 Noh Seung-yul  Korea 822,361
2009 Thongchai Jaidee  Thailand 981,932
2008 Jeev Milkha Singh  India 1,452,702
2007 Liang Wen-Chong  China 532,590
2006 Jeev Milkha Singh  India 591,884
2005 Thaworn Wiratchant  Thailand 510,122
2004 Thongchai Jaidee  Thailand 381,930
2003 Arjun Atwal  India 284,018
2002 Jyoti Randhawa  India 266,263
2001 Thongchai Jaidee  Thailand 353,060
2000 Simon Dyson  England 282,370
1999 Kyi Hla Han  Myanmar 204,210
1998 Kang Wook-soon  Korea 150,772
1997 Mike Cunning  United States 170,619
1996 Kang Wook-soon  Korea 183,737
1995 Lin Keng-chi  Taiwan 177,856

Leading career money winners[edit]

The table below shows the leading money winners on the Asian Tour as of 16 October 2016. The official site has a top 100 list which also shows each player's winnings for 1995 to 2016.[5]

Rank Player Country Prize money (US$)
1 Thongchai Jaidee  Thailand 5,485,537
2 Thaworn Wiratchant  Thailand 4,493,844
3 Scott Hend  Australia 3,795,696
4 Prayad Marksaeng  Thailand 3,533,551
5 Jeev Milkha Singh  India 3,487,029
6 Jyoti Randhawa  India 3,455,859
7 Liang Wen-Chong  China 3,426,632
8 Anirban Lahiri  India 3,034,434
9 Prom Meesawat  Thailand 2,776,891
10 Chapchai Nirat  Thailand 2,664,047

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ "Asian Tour Moves to New Home on Sentosa" (Press release). asiantour.com. 14 August 2007. 
  2. ^ "Major Incentive for Tour Stars" (Press release). asiantour.com. 12 February 2008. 
  3. ^ The 2009 total prize fund includes 50% of the purses at the U.S. Open, The Open Championship, and the HSBC Champions.
  4. ^ The figure shown is based on information on the official site as of 12 February 2008. The 2008 total prize fund includes 50% of the purses at the U.S. Open, The Open Championship, and the HSBC Champions.
  5. ^ "Career Earnings". Asian Tour. Retrieved 19 October 2016. 

External links[edit]