PGA Tour's Far Eastern Forays Are Far from Fair

Having muscled its way into Asian Tour territory with the CIMB Classic in Kuala Lumpur, before setting-up the PGA Tour China Series, as Mike Wilson reveals, the US-based circuit is now expanding into Korea, Japan and even global domination on the cards with minimal resistance offered and it’s bad for golf in the Far East

The CIMB Classic provides a convenient and highly-profitable stopover for PGA Tour professionals en route to the WGC HSBC Champions in Shanghai in late October

When the PGA Tour muscled its way into the Asian Tour’s CIMB Classic in late 2010, the die was cast, a signal was sent from the weak to the strong that the rule of the jungle, survival of the fittest was the name of the game.

And now the avaricious PGA Tour and its older brother, the Champions Tour have bulldozed their way into Korea and Japan respectively, whilst the PGA Tour - China Series is even boasting of its own expansionist tendencies with a three-year-agreement to stage the first PGA Tour China Series outside the PRC mainland, in Hong Kong in early November.

But, despite the Asian Tour, the Japan Tour, the KPGA Korean Tour and the China Golf Association all being members of the International Federation of PGA Tours (IFPGAT), an organization in which all members are - in theory at least - equal and which exists to protect the collective and individual interests of its member Tours, it seems powerless - or unwilling - to rein-in what is the golfing neocolonialism of the PGA Tour.

At least with the CIMB Classic, which again provides a convenient and highly-profitable stopover for PGA Tour professionals en route to the WGC HSBC Champions in Shanghai in late October, was given a fig-leaf of respectability with the Asian Tour given co-sanctioning status and 10 of the 78 places available in a US$7m tournament with no halfway cut, meaning everyone is assured of a pay-day.

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