Asian Tour Reveals Hong Kong Open Future Is Safe
The Asian Tour "promised to safeguard" the long-term health of the troubled Hong Kong Open after the European Tour sacrificed the "iconic" tournament and removed it from the climactic end-of-season spotlight, according to Noel Prentice of the SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST. After struggling to find a sponsor and having to rely on a government handout to secure the return of world No. 1 and defending champion Rory McIlroy, the Hong Kong Open has been replaced by the new $7M Turkish Open as the penultimate event on the European Tour's Race To Dubai. But the Asian Tour, which co-sanctions the event with the European Tour along with the Hong Kong Golf Association, which owns the Open, said that it would "not allow the tournament to lose any more lustre." Asian Tour CEO Mike Kerr said, "We will talk to all the partners and make sure we ensure the long-term health of the Hong Kong Open. The worst thing would be to go from year to year with no clear understanding as to where we are going" (SCMP, 10/14).