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European Tour builds global presence with Korean alliance

Golf’s European Tour has moved to further enhance its global reach by entering into a strategic partnership with the Korea Professional Golfers’ Association (KPGA).

The alliance will result in the two organisations working to develop the sport in Korea and create new opportunities for young golfers in the country.

The European Tour and the KPGA will share marketing and commercial resources in order to explore potential new tournaments in Korea and grow the sport at grassroots level.

The partnership comes after the European Tour last year opened a new office in the Korean capital of Seoul in the same building as the KPGA’s headquarters.

In the past 12 months, the European Tour has also signed similar alliances with the Asian Tour and the PGA Tour of Australasia as it seeks to widen its global appeal.

Keith Pelley, chief executive of the European Tour, said: “We have seen through our alliances with the Asian Tour and the PGA of Australasia that this is a model of growth and development which is hugely positive and mutually beneficial for all parties.

“Korean players have been very successful on the European Tour down the years and that is evident by the fact that two of the past three Sir Henry Cotton Rookies of the Year have been Korean. The rapid growth of golf there has been incredible so it is an important step for both tours to align like this.”

There are currently four Korean players on the European Tour – Byeong-hun An (pictured), Soomin Lee, Jeung-hun Wang and YE Yang, winner of the 2009 US PGA Championship.