Golf’s European Tour has made further efforts to expand its horizons by establishing a commercial base in Australasia, while the Asian Tour has added another Chinese tournament to its calendar.
The European Tour entered into a strategic alliance with the PGA Tour of Australasia last summer with a view to creating co-sanctioned tournaments in the region and offering more holistic commercial packages to both sponsors and partners.
The Tour has now appointed a commercial director in the region for the first time through the hiring of David Pryles, general manager at the PGA of Australia. Pryles’ role will include the remit of building newly-integrated events and commercialising the European Tour within the region, as well as continuing to commercialise the PGA of Australia and the PGA Tour of Australasia.
The European Tour said the appointment demonstrates its ongoing efforts to develop golf globally. In addition to Europe, the Tour has also established commercial teams in Asia, the Middle East and North America.
Keith Pelley, chief executive of the European Tour, said: “I’m delighted to welcome David to the team, and have no doubt his expertise and experience will benefit our ambitious organisation and help drive our global expansion.”
Meanwhile, the 2018 China Open, which will be held at the Beijing Topwin Golf and Country Club for the third consecutive year this April, will now be tri-sanctioned between the China Golf Association, the European Tour and the Asian Tour, after an agreement was reached with the tournament’s stakeholders.
The event will offer a prize purse of RMB 20m (€2.54m/$3.15m) when it takes place from April 26-29. In October, the Asian Tour confirmed that it would host its first Chinese event since 2008 with the Kaikou Golf Club in Xiamen, Fujian Province staging the Asian Golf Championship from November 30 to December 3.
The event was the first to be announced since the Asian Tour signed a strategic partnership with the China Golf Association (CGA) in March 2017. The agreement is designed to further grow the profile of golf in China and will result in a number of co-sanctioned tournaments.
The Asian Tour has now been added as a sanctioning partner of the China Open. “The Asian Tour is delighted to join the Volvo China Open as a sanctioning partner alongside the CGA, with whom we formed a strategic partnership with in 2017, and the European Tour, with whom we’ve had a strategic alliance since 2016,” Josh Burack, chief executive of the Asian Tour, said.
“We greatly appreciate them including us in this outstanding tournament. We’d also like to thank title sponsors, Volvo, for their terrific support to involve the Asian Tour and our talented players in their flagship golf property.”