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CGA cuts ties with Asian Tour

THE China Open will definitely launch the new OneAsia Tour next month, organizers said yesterday, effectively ending its association with the established Asian Tour.

The new Asia-Pacific tour announced the US$2.2 million event as the first on its six-tournament 2009 schedule last year, but the Asian Tour had vehemently opposed the move and retained it on its own schedule.

Zhang Xiaoning, director of the China Golf Association (CGA) which owns the tournament, said, however, that the event would now be co-sanctioned by the OneAsia and European Tours.

"Our future trend is to have all OneAsia Tour events in China instead of Asian Tour events," he said yesterday.

"As for the Asian Tour, the tournaments were ours, the sponsors, everything was ours but our players got low quotas and we didn't have many tournaments in China. Generally we didn't get enough benefits from the Asian Tour."

The OneAsia Tour was launched under the provisional "super series" name by the PGA of Australia, the Korean Golf Association and PGA as well as the Chinese Golf Association late last year.

Asian Tour chief Kyi Hla Han denounced the new initiative as a "desperate attempt by the PGA of Australia to revive its flagging circuit."

Zhang said the number of Chinese players at the China Open, which will be played from April 16-19 in Beijing, could double from last year's 14. "I believe the OneAsia tour will further promote the development of golf in the region and provide more and better tournaments for our players," he said.


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