SINGAPORE: The Asian Tour's 2010 schedule will offer some US$40 million (S$56 million) in prize money and feature at least five new events, as well as a new secondary circuit for emerging talent, the golf tour announced yesterday.
Executive chairman Han Kyi Hla said in a statement that the tour would launch new events in India and Malaysia, and was finalising tournaments in Taiwan and Vietnam, underlining its regional appeal.
The total prize fund was expected to increase to US$45 million (S$62.67 million) from 2012, he added. "Through the solid foundation which the Asian Tour has been built upon, and through the strong and strategic alliances with our sponsors and partners across 17 countries in Asia and the international Tours, we are looking forward to exciting times for professional golf in Asia next year and beyond," said Mr Han.
"The success of our players - including the historic triumph by Yang Yong Eun in the PGA Championship this year and Thongchai Jaidee's record third victory in our Order of Merit - has been a telling factor in attracting major sponsors onto the Asian Tour platform."
The schedule, which has only one event on mainland China (WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai), kicks off with the Asian Tour International in Thailand and features at least 28 tournaments.
The tour has also signed a long-term deal with its United States counterpart to play an annual tournament in Malaysia and is co-sanctioning the US$2.8-million (S$3.899 million) European Masters in Switzerland with the European Tour.
"We are an international Tour which represents no fewer than 29 different nationalities," said Mr Han.
"The Asian Tour continues to hold a unique appeal because of the diversity of our membership and the places that we visit. This can be seen by the growth of our Tour and the establishment of new tournaments next year."
The tour has been facing a challenge from the fledgling OneAsia Tour, which recently announced that it was expanding its schedule to 11 events next year, up from five this year.
It will also have at least four tournaments in China.