Monday, November 26, 2007

Tour Merger Fallout

So, it is becoming clear to the Asian Tour, Japan Golf Tour, and Australasian PGA Tour that the European Tour (or whatever it will be named next) is not all that concerned about their current co-sanctioning relationships. It is becoming so clear, in fact, that these three tours are openly discussing the idea of merging their three schedules.

In this piece, the Australasian Tour is thinking out loud that their co-sanctioning agreements for the Australian Masters and New Zealand Open may not be renewed in after 2009. And why not end the arrangement? Since both events will definitely have to change dates to compete with the Euro Tour's final few events - including the new Dubai World Championship - it only makes sense that they join forces with the Asian Tour. Earlier in the year, the Asian Tour was not happy with the Euro Tour's announcement of two new events in Asia. The Japan Golf Tour is still as popular as ever, but remains out of the loop on recent developments in pro golf in this part of the world.

The talk, then, is of forming a more inclusive Australasifipan (Australia-Asian-Pacific-Japan) Tour. Here's a window into the future from Australiasian PGA Tour Chief Executive Ben Sellenger:

Over the last several years we've been engaged in discussions with the Asian Tour and the Japan Golf Tour about how we might coordinate our tour a lot more cooperatively, and how we might integrate the Australasian Tour more into a regional basis. I think there is a window of opportunity for this region to get its act together, start acting more co-operatively and create a truly regional platform that we can push forward and have some collaborative strength within this region. That is definitely the direction this tour is heading.

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