The Asian Tour has unveiled exciting plans to stage a series of season-ending tournaments to complete its 2020-21 schedule and Order of Merit.
With no events since March last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the tour will make its eagerly awaited with back-to-back inaugural US$1 million events on Phuket Island in Thailand. The Blue Canyon Championship will first take place at Blue Canyon Country Club on November 25-28, followed by the Laguna Phuket Championship at Laguna Phuket Resort on December 2-5.
Following the Christmas and New Year breaks, the tour is planning to stage two more tournaments in Singapore over consecutive weeks in January 2022. All four tournaments will be broadcast live on television with further details to be announced soon.
“After a difficult 18 months the Asian Tour is thrilled to announce that it is able to restart in Q4 of 2021, and most importantly expedite the return of our membership to elite competition,” said Asian Tour commissioner and chief executive officer Cho Minn Thant.
“The Asian Tour have been working around the clock to resume competition and crown the Merit list champion ‒ a challenge made more difficult by our reach across many countries and each of their Covid-related protocols. We are confident of being able to complete our season despite several remaining challenges created by the pandemic.”
The four Asian Tour events played in early 2020 will be added to the blended 2020-21 schedule, with the top 30 players from the final Order of Merit receiving automatic entry into next year’s season-opening US$5 million Saudi International powered by SoftBank Investment Advisers. Australian Wade Ormsby has led the Order of Merit throughout the hiatus since winning the Hong Kong Open last January.
Jazz Janewattananond, the 2019 Order of Merit champion, has confirmed he will compete in the Phuket events which will be backed by the Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT). The Thai star ‒ currently in fifth place on the Merit list ‒ is vying to become the first player in Tour history to clinch back-to-back Merit crowns.
“It is great news to hear that the Asian Tour will be resuming competition soon. I know everyone has been really looking forward to getting out and playing again after a long break,” said Jazz, a six-time winner on the Asian Tour.
“The atmosphere at the Phuket events will be special. I am looking forward to seeing everyone again, and of course playing competitive golf on home soil.”
The Asian Tour last visited Phuket in 2019 when it staged the Singha Laguna Phuket Open at the Laguna Phuket Resort ‒ an event on its feeder circuit, the Asian Development Tour. Blue Canyon Country Club has also featured on the Asian Tour previously with several marquee events being played at the iconic venue which has seen an illustrious list of champions including former world number ones Tiger Woods and Greg Norman.
All four tournaments will be played in tournament bubbles and strictly follow local government standard operating procedures. All players will need to be fully vaccinated in order to compete.
The plan to stage a series of season-ending tournaments follows on from last month’s ground-breaking news that the Saudi International will become the Asian Tour’s flagship tournament. The event will be played at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club near Jeddah from February 3-6 and will offer the highest purse on the Asian Tour in 2022. Updates on the 2022 season are expected be communicated in due course.
For the 2020/2021 Asian Tour Order of Merit listing, click here.
This Article Originally Appeared Here on ParGolf