Golf’s Mena Tour will return next month following a two-year hiatus with a four-event series in Thailand, with organisers confirming on Tuesday its 2022 season is set for October and will feature a “strong focus in the Mena region”.
The developmental golf circuit, which took root in the UAE in 2011, will stage the “Beautiful Thailand Swing” across three weeks in Phuket, and will have four 54-hole tournaments. Each carries a $75,000 purse and will be co-sanctioned by the Asian Development Tour (ADT).
The series kicks off with the Laguna Phuket Challenge from May 3-5, followed by the Laguna Phuket Cup (May 8-10), the Blue Canyon Classic (May 13-15) and the Blue Canyon Open (May 18-20). The latter concludes the Mena Tour’s pandemic-impacted 2020 Order of Merit, the “Journey to Jordan”.
The Money List winner will be invited to one of the events in the Asian Tour’s new ‘The International Series’, which includes 10 marquee tournaments worth at least $1.5m each.
The top 10 Order of Merit players will also be awarded playing opportunities in the next two ADT events, with the possibility of earning promotion to the Asian Tour, as well as being exempted to the final stage of Asian Tour Q-School for the 2023 season. In December, the Mena Tour and the Asian Tour signed a strategic alliance, while a statement released by the former on Tuesday said a full merger of the Mena Tour and the ADT is mooted from 2023.
In the statement, Mena Tour commissioner David Spencer said: “We will continue to work more closely with the Asian Tour as there is absolutely no doubt that our combined vision will provide players with the clearest and most defined development pathway in the world of professional golf outside of the USA.”
The most recent Mena Tour event took place in Jordan in March 2020, with the circuit twice attempting to restart before travel restrictions enforced by the pandemic made a resumption impossible.
All current Mena Tour members will be automatically eligible to re-join the tour for the 2022 season with the Official World Golf Ranking underlining that traditional Q-School requirements have been waived this year due to the impact of Covid-19. The Mena Tour has reduced entry fees to $50 for each of the “Beautiful Thailand Swing” events in order to help players compete.
“Obviously, the world is a different place since the pandemic began and we have had to try and figure out how to best adapt and pivot the Mena Tour,” Spencer said.
“At times we know this has been frustrating, but I know all our members will be buoyed by the fact we have always been working to try and improve the tour we created back in 2011.”