Aussies fined for playing China Open

The Asian tour versus the new OneAsia Tour is getting uglier. Four Australians who are part of the Asian Tour have been issued fines and possible suspensions after playing in last week’s Volvo China Open, part of the new OneAsia Tour.

Things have been getting nasty for a while now and it’s hard to know exactly who is to blame for all this but it seems that the OneAsia Tour looks assured of becoming the world’s third largest tour pretty quickly in terms of prize money and participants. It is best summarised in the FoxSports report:

The new Tour, formed by the China Golf Association, Korea Professional Golf Tour, Korea Golf Association and the PGA Tour of Australia aims to create a new force in world golf.

But it is opposed by the Asian Tour which has accused it of stealing its tournaments, including the China Open which it used to co-sanction.

The China Open was the first event as part of the new OneAsia tour and Jason King, Chris Gaunt, Brad Kennedy and Ashley Hall are the Australians who have been sent the notices and have a week to appeal the fines and suspension. Australian Scott Strange won the China Open but he is a member of the European Tour and is therefore not subject to the threats.

Personally, I now think the OneAsia Tour is going to be a very good thing for golf in the region and worldwide but it’s a pity that tensions have been strained between this new tour and the Asian Tour. It appears that the PGA Tour of Australia wanted to get involved in the Asian Golf Tour and had an idea to bring it altogether. The Asian Tour organisers didn’t like what they heard perhaps fearing losing control and both parties have been at loggerheads ever since.

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