Introducing PGA Tour China
By Torleif Sorenson on 11/4/13

First, it was the promotion of the HSBC Champions event to World Golf Championship status. Now, PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem has announced the creation of PGA Tour China. On Sunday, Finchem made the announcement with China Golf Association Secretary General Zhang Xiaoning, and COSI president Sun Liping. Said Finchem:
"We are very pleased to announce the establishment of PGA TOUR China, which builds upon our longstanding relationship with the China Golf Association. As with the structure of NEC Series-PGA TOUR Latinoamérica and PGA TOUR Canada, PGA TOUR China will provide open competition on a quality tour for elite players from China and other countries and the opportunity to advance to the world stage. Also similar to those two Tours, we plan to provide access to the Tour for the season's top players."
Finchem and Tour officials have yet to announce a schedule of events, but 12 tournaments will have fields of between 120 and 156 players. However, the purses will be small at the outset — roughly US$ 200,000.

This has been in the works for awhile; back in August, the tour hired Greg Gilligan as vice president of marketing for the tour's China affiliate. Gilligan has lived in China for 17 years. They have also established broadcast and digital partnerships, along with almost 40 PGA Tour-branded golf stores in China.

While this is somewhat jarring, considering that China is still a single-party, Communist-controlled country, although businesses have been increasing ties and locations there for decades. It is also worth remembering that China isn't quite as bad as the totalitarian police state that is North Korea.

Greg Norman reacted with this very interesting prediction on Golf Channel on Sunday:
"The East will take over the West in the game of golf within a generation. When you have 1.4 billion people getting a taste of golf, they will accelerate their progress."

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Image via PGA Tour

[ comments ]
legitimatebeef says:
Duke of Hazards says:
(original comment censored by the Communist Party of China)

China #1 !!!
joe jones says:
Obviously the orient is going to be the life blood of the tour in the future but I have a very uneasy feeling that the tours may be over extending too quickly . The influx of great oriental women players in the last few years has not really popularized the game with American women. It might be great for golf course designers but it will be interesting to see whether or not it has a positive effect on the growth of the game in the USA
[ post comment ]
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