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SBD Global/August 30, 2012/Events and Attractions

The Asian Tour Says Developing 'Major' Tournament Possible Within Five Years

Asian Tour CEO Mike Kerr said the tour is in talks to set up an "iconic" golf event to rival the majors as early as '15, according to the AFP. Kerr has laid out "an ambitious vision" that sees the circuit expanding to match the current size of the European Tour in the next 10 years. Kerr: "Yes, I think we can have an iconic event in Asia. There are some plans that we have that we're already in the market talking about." The "fifth major" is considered the next frontier of Asian golf after years of rapid growth brought new, world-class tournaments and pumped up prize money and standards. Both the $7M WGC-HSBC Champions in China and the $6M Singapore Open have been informally touted as "Asia's major." Kerr said, "I'm not sure whether it would ever be confirmed as a major or supported in that way, but I think there certainly is room for an iconic event in Asia that would be at a similar level to a major event, which the players can support and which we can build up over time. Golf is still in its infancy in this part of the world. The majors have hundreds of years of tradition, which is what sets them apart from every other event." Kerr "dismissed the challenge of rival circuit OneAsia," which was founded in '09, bringing together the Chinese, South Korean and Australian tours and lists 15 events on its schedule for this year. Kerr: "I don't think that their fundamentals are sound, I don't think that they have the right foundation, and I don't think they're a long-term ongoing proposition. The Asian Tour is" (AFP, 8/28).
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