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2019 Asian Tour
|Most titles||Thaworn Wiratchant (18)|
The Asian Tour is the principal men's professional golf tour in Asia except for Japan, which has its own Japan Golf Tour, which is also a full member of the International Federation of PGA Tours. Official money events on the tour count for World Golf Ranking points.
The Asian Tour is administered from Singapore. It is controlled by a board with a majority of professional golfers, and a Tournament Players Committee of its player members, supported by an executive team. The chairman of the board is the Indonesian businessman Jimmy Masrin.
The first season in the current lineage was played in 1995, although there had been earlier attempts to create an Asian Tour. The Asian PGA was formed in July 1994 at a meeting in Hong Kong attended by PGA representatives from eight countries. In 1998 the Asian Tour became the sixth member of the International Federation of PGA Tours.
In 2002, the tour moved its office from Hong Kong to Malaysia and in 2004 the tour was taken over by a new organisation established by the players, who had been in dispute with the previous management. In 2007 it moved to new headquarters on the resort island of Sentosa in Singapore, which is also the home to what was at that time the tour's richest sole sanctioned tournament, the Singapore Open.
In 2009 a rival tour, the OneAsia Tour, was established. Relations between the two tours are hostile.
In 2010, the Asian Tour launched the Asian Development Tour (ADT) as a developmental circuit. The first year saw five events being played while in 2015, a record 28 tournaments with US$2.2 million was offered to ADT players.
Most of the leading players on the tour are Asian, but players from other parts of the world also participate (as of 2007 the country with most representatives profiled on the tour's official site is Australia).
Among the ways to obtain an Asian Tour card is to be among the top 35 (including ties) at the Tour's qualifying school, finishing in the top 5 of the Asian Development Tour Order of Merit, and placing in the top 60 of the previous season's Order of Merit. The winner of the Asian Tour Order of Merit also receives entry into The Open Championship.
Tournaments and prize money
Each year the Asian Tour co-sanctions a number of events with the European Tour, with these events offering higher prize funds than most of the other tournaments on the tour as a result. While most of these tournaments have been in Asia, the Omega European Masters in Switzerland has been co-sanctioned from 2009 to 2017. In addition, the two tours sometimes tri-sanction events with the Sunshine Tour or PGA Tour of Australasia in those tours' respective regions. The Asian Tour also co-sanctions tournaments with the Japan Golf Tour.
Since 2008, 50 percent of players' earnings from the US Open and The Open Championship have counted towards the Asian Tour's Order of Merit. The two Opens were singled out from the other majors because they have open qualifying which Asian Tour members may enter.
Asia's richest event, the HSBC Champions, was first played in November 2005 with a prize fund of $5 million. The tournament is co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and the earnings were counted towards the money list for its first three years before it became a World Golf Championships event in 2009. From 2009 to present, the earnings are not counted towards the Asian Tour Order of Merit.
Another limited-field event in Malaysia, the CIMB Classic, was launched in 2010 with a $6 million purse. The first Asian Tour event to be co-sanctioned by the US-based PGA Tour began as an unofficial event on that tour, but it started to offer official money and FedEx Cup points in 2013.
In 2016, the tour's richest sole-sanctioned event was the Venetian Macao Open, with a prize fund of $1.1 million.
The table below summarises the development of the tour since 2004, when the current organisation took control.
|Year||Official money tournaments||Total prize fund (US$)|
Order of Merit winners
|Year||Leading player||Country||Earnings (US$)|
|2014||David Lipsky||United States||713,901|
|2008||Jeev Milkha Singh||India||1,452,702|
|2006||Jeev Milkha Singh||India||591,884|
|1999||Kyi Hla Han||Myanmar||204,210|
|1997||Mike Cunning||United States||170,619|
Leading career money winners
The table below shows the leading money winners on the Asian Tour as of 16 October 2016. The official site has a top 100 list which also shows each player's winnings for 1995 to 2016.
|Rank||Player||Country||Prize money (US$)|
|5||Jeev Milkha Singh||India||3,487,029|
Notes and references
- "Asian Tour Moves to New Home on Sentosa" (Press release). asiantour.com. 14 August 2007.
- "Major Incentive for Tour Stars" (Press release). asiantour.com. 12 February 2008.
- The 2009 total prize fund includes 50% of the purses at the U.S. Open, The Open Championship, and the HSBC Champions.
- The figure shown is based on information on the official site as of 12 February 2008. The 2008 total prize fund includes 50% of the purses at the U.S. Open, The Open Championship, and the HSBC Champions.
- "Career Earnings". Asian Tour. Retrieved 19 October 2016.