Singapore, March 23: The Asian Tour today expressed shock and disappointment in the European Tour’s role in sanctioning a new rival series of golf events in Asia, saying that Europe has stepped well out of its boundary.

Kyi Hla Han, Chairman of the Asian Tour, said that the players are united in their dissatisfaction with the European Tour to back sports promoter, Parallel Media Group (PMG) who plan to brand a series of events within the
Asian Tour as the Asian Series Golf Events.

The players, Han said, were disappointed that the European Tour had made this move against the principles of the International Federation of PGA Tours which fosters close cooperation between the various main tours around
the world.

PMG announced on Monday that it would promote five existing events in Asia with the intention of adding at least three new events next year, with the European Tour’s sanction. Han said the Asian Tour were unaware of this move.

‘The players have had a professionally-structured Tour in Asia since 1995 and this Tour has been recognised by the International Federation of PGA Tours. Unfortunately, in recent times, the players have had to form a new Tour to distance themselves from the dispute between Parallel Media Group and World Sports Group that was inhibiting the progress of the Tour.

‘We have now achieved the goal of establishing a new Tour in Asia, called the Asian Tour and the players are united. We will stand together and oppose any moves that could be detrimental to the Asian Tour,’ said Han.

Han expressed both surprise and disappointment at the announcement of a new partnership between PMG and the European Tour. ‘Over the last three months Ken Schofield, the Executive Director of the European Tour, has confirmed in both private and public statements that he wholeheartedly supports the Asian players’ initiative to form the Asian Tour.

‘Furthermore, Mr Schofield has acknowledged that the participation of the European Tour in Asia is only by invitation. This latest statement by PMG that it has reached agreement with the European Tour to sanction events in Asia independent of the Asian Tour flies in the face of these comments and seems quite inconsistent.

‘I have not spoken to Mr Schofield directly and would like to hear his position on these issues.’

Following this development, Louis Martin immediately resigned from the European Tour. Martin was seconded to the Asian Tour by Europe earlier this year with the mandate to assist the players develop their new organisation and held the position as Chief Executive.

Martin said: ‘After becoming aware of the current press release by PMG I find my position untenable. As a result, I have resigned from my position with the PGA European Tour where I was the Director of International Services.

‘I have offered my services to the new body and I sincerely believe that I have the knowledge, experience and expertise in the golfing industry to assist the Asian Tour in this time of great opportunity. It is clear that
the Asian Tour represents the interests of Asian professional golfers and has the undivided support from all players.’

For further information, please contact:

Chuah Choo Chiang
Asian Tour
Tel: 6 03 8025 9800
Email: chuah@asiantour.com