Golf's Asian Tour is set to finally resume 18 months after it was suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
What was the 2020 season will now run across three years, with two events to take place before the end of 2021 and two in January 2022 to allow the tour to complete its order of merit and crown a champion.
The first two events will take place on the island of Phuket in Thailand – the Blue Canyon Championship at Blue Canyon Country Club from 25 to 28 November and the Laguna Phuket Championship at the Laguna Phuket Resort from 2 to 5 December.
January’s events are expected to take place in Singapore over consecutive weeks, but the final details have yet to be confirmed.
The Asian Tour was suspended last year after only four rounds, the Malaysia Open having been the last tour event to take place from 5 to 7 March.
Australia’s Wade Ormsby currently leads the order of merit from USA's Trevor Simsby and Brad Kennedy, another Australian, with each having won one of the four rounds played.
How well do you really know your competitors?
Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.
Your download email will arrive shortly
Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample
We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below formBy GlobalData
The four newly-announced rounds will deliver an eight-round season in total, with the top 30 players in the final order of merit standings to qualify automatically for the 2022-23 season-opening Saudi International tournament, which is due to take place from 3 to 6 February at the Royal Greens Golf and Country Club.
It had been hoped that the tour would resume in September 2020 but concerns about health and safety coupled with restrictions on travel saw its suspension ultimately extended.
In contrast, US golf’s PGA Tour resumed with the Charles Schwab Challenge in June last year and the European Tour resumed the following month with the Austrian Open.
The biennial Ryder Cup teams-based competition in which Europe takes on the USA, meanwhile, was due to be played in September last year but was postponed by 12 months and finally played last month.
Cho Minn Thant, commissioner and chief executive of the Asian Tour, said: “After a difficult 18 months the Asian Tour is thrilled to announce that it is able to restart in Q4 of 2021, and most importantly expedite the return of our membership to elite competition.
“The Asian Tour has been working around the clock to resume competition and crown the merit list champion ‒ a challenge made more difficult by our reach across many countries and each of their Covid-related protocols. We are confident of being able to complete our season despite several remaining challenges created by the pandemic.”