U.S. PGA Tour To Launch Development Tour In China Consisting Of 12 Events
The U.S. PGA Tour "continued its growth into Asia on Sunday with the announcement of a new development circuit in China next year," according to Andrew Both of REUTERS. PGA Tour China "will feature 12 events with fields, not restricted to Chinese players, expected to be between 120 and 156 players" and purses around $200,000. Qualifying events "will be played early next year, with details still being finalised." The new venture "was launched by PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem, China Golf Association chief Zhang Xiaoning and China Olympic Sports Industry President Sun Liping at the WGC HSBC Champions event." The PGA Tour "already owns and operates two tours" outside the U.S. -- PGA Tour LatinoAmérica and PGA Tour Canada -- but a move into the world’s second largest economy "could upset its rivals." Finchem, though, "dismissed concerns that the new tour would pose a threat to the European and OneAsia Tours, which have had a presence in China for several years." He said, "We don’t see any effect on either OneAsia or the European Tour’s interests in co-sanctioning events in certain places. Matter of fact, if we’re just talking about China, the extent to which they accelerate those things would be a positive. It is an avenue for elite player participation."