SHANGHAI (AP) — The PGA Tour will be partners in a new tour in China that starts next year with 12 tournaments.
The China Tour-PGA Tour China Series will begin in March with 12 events that have purses of about $200,000. Still to be determined is qualifying procedures, and how many of the top finishers will have access to the Web.com Tour in the United States.
"We know from looking at the history of golf that the growth of the game is driven first and foremost by the development of elite players," PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem said Sunday. "Having the opportunity to grow the elite players ... will also translate into the acceleration of the growth of the game in China, which is in all of our interests."
It's a similar model to what the PGA Tour has done in Canada and Latin America. The tour owns those two circuits. The China Tour-PGA Tour China Series is a partnership with the China Golf Association and the China Olympic Sports Industry.
The CGA is the key to every golf deal in China, so it was important for the PGA Tour to have a partnership. The European Tour with its global schedule was the first to bring its players to the Far East in 1992, and it now has three tournaments in China — the Volvo China Open, the BMW Masters and a Challenge Tour event. The HSBC Champions began in the fall of 2005 as a European Tour event and now is a World Golf Championship.