The Asian Tour is not thrilled with a new PGA Tour event to be held in Korea. Last October, the PGA tour announced the event, scheduled for the 2017-18 wrap-around season, will be held after the CIMB Classic from Malaysia and prior to the WGC HSBC Champions in China. The tournament will greatly enhance the PGA Tour’s exposure in Asia.
The tournament, “THE CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES,” will be one of the more lucrative events in the fall schedule offering a $9.25 million purse. It will feature an elite 78 player field, with 60 of those coming from the FedEx Cup points list. The rest of the field will be comprised of various and currently vague exemptions.
The new CEO of the Asian Tour, Josh Burack is not happy with the PGA Tour stomping around in his back yard and not even offering the Asian Tour a piece of the pie.
“Thanks, but NO Thanks,” response.
In just 5 months on the job as the head of the Asian Tour, Burack has forged an alliance with the European Tour to co-sanction events and prevent the bigger European Tour from usurping events and prestige in the Pacific Rim.
The PGA Tour also owns the China PGA Tour and this new Korean event is making it more difficult for the Asian Tour to grow and be a force in the region.
Burack told Global Golf Post’s Lewine Mair,
“We don’t feel it is right. We are a tour with over 20 years’ history and one of the six members of the International Federation of PGA Tours. We feel the PGA Tour should have consulted with us before finalizing their plans for this event in an important market for the Asian Tour.”
He is also disappointed with the sponsor, an Asian controlled business, CJ Corporation, putting up the $9.25 million purse, when that amount would have funded 10 Asian Tour events.
Burack hopes to meet with PGA Tour commissioner, Jay Monohan during Masters week to sort the whole thing out and build a better working relationship with the bigger tour, going forward.
If you remember, the 2016 WGC Bridgestone was scheduled opposite the French Open last year. European Tour Chief Executive, Keith Pelley wasted no time in rescinding the that tour’s co-sanction of the WGC event in Akron, to convince his top players to compete in France rather than Ohio.
We may be seeing the beginning of an interesting turf war if the Asian, European and Australasian Tours continue to work together and can attract big-money sponsors.
Asia is the big prize for the various golf tours of the world. The potential for growth lies with the millions of new golfers attracted to the game in China. As Asians see bigger events on their televisions, they will be stimulated to buy the $400 drivers and $50 boxes of golf balls that American golfers are shunning.
The other and possibly bigger factor lies in the fact that, as network live televised sports broadcasting continues to change, the PGA Tour, looking to produce its own content for its own network, will want the BILLIONS of viewers Asia provides.
It is considerably easier to sell advertising to large international corporations, if you have access to billions of viewers for your events.