The European Tour has participated in 20 co-sanctioned events with the Asian Tour since the introduction of the (then Benson and Hedges) Carlsberg Malaysian Open in 1999. Prior to that time, and prior to the establishment of the Asian Tour in 1995, The European Tour has sanctioned the Johnnie Walker Classic since 1992, in which year it was known as the Johnnie Walker Asian Classic.

All of these events (with the one exception of the Australasian PGA Tour’s participation in the Johnnie Walker Classic) have been on the basis of 50-50 representation between both Tours.

The arrangements for the proposed events to be promoted in the future by the Parallel Media Group plc (PMG), following the acquisition by PMG of 100 per cent of Asian Tour Limited, maintains that status.

The re-introduction of the BMW Asian Open, to be played at Tomson Golf Club, Shanghai, China, on May 13-16, 2004, was negotiated by The European Tour at the express request of the Asian Tour and similarly maintains 50-50 representation in terms of field and finance.

The addition of the Volvo China Open, to be played at the Shanghai Silport Golf Club, on November 25-28, 2004, to the co-sanctioned programme of both Tours was negotiated and agreed prior to the winding-up of the original Asian Tour in December 2003, and the setting up of the new organisation in January 2004. Volvo agreed to double the prize fund as a result of The European Tour’s co-sanction.

Ken Schofield, Executive Director of The European Tour said: ‘Since last July at the Open Golf Championship we have been closely involved in trying to assist the Asian Tour during the challenging times experienced by the public differences between PMG and the World Sport Group as joint owners of Asian Tour Limited.

‘The ending of that dispute provides a fresh opportunity for professional golf to develop in the region and we in The European Tour look forward to continuing to assist that development by way of the traditional co-sanction policy. Furthermore, The European Tour insures that any new innovation such as ‘Asian Series Bonus Pools’ assists both Tours.

‘We were pleased to propose the Asian Tour’s full membership status of The International Federation of PGA Tours in 1998, and again as a newly formed organisation in 2004.’

For further information, contact;
Communications Division
The European Tour
Tel: +44(0)1344 840400
Fax: +44(0)1344 840444