The US PGA Tour is considering managing a series of Asian tournaments after the FedEx Cup portion of the season is over. In two years, the US PGA Tour already has grown to two events in Asia. It returns to Shanghai on November 4-7 for the World Golf Championship, which was won by Phil Mickelson, the world No 2 last year, this time treating the HSBC Champions as an official victory if a tour member is holding the trophy. A week earlier is the inaugural Asia Pacific Classic in Malaysia, which is co-sanctioned with the Asian Tour and offers a US$6 million (Dh22m) purse.
And after that? Stay tuned. "We're looking at possibilities in Japan, Korea, China," Tim Finchem, the tour commissioner, said. "I'm not saying we will, but we may very well do a short series over there in the autumn in the next two or three years. If we're going to get serious about a presence in Asia, it would probably argue for a short series," he added. The Malaysia event was not a critical building block in such a series.
It has a short field - the top 25 players available from the FedEx Cup standings to fill a 40-man field at The Mines Resort and Golf Club - and Finchem said the Asian Pacific Classic "predated what might be developing into a serious strategy". "If it continues, it will be part of it [an Asia series] in some fashion," he said. Finchem, who took an 18-day working vacation through Asia last autumn, said he will be returning this year. But when asked if the tour was close to arranging an event in Japan, he flatly replied, "No".
"I don't see us announcing any details on that by the end of the year," he said. * AP