The second quarter of 2018 is officially here, with the Masters Tournament in early April followed by our East Asia stretch of tournaments with events in Japan, China and Korea back to back.
During the quieter month of March, I appeared as a guest on MoneyFM, a radio station in Singapore, for a live interview that focused on the business of professional sport. I used the opportunity to share our plans for the Asian Tour and the steady growth that we experienced in 2017.
In March I also attended the Sportel Asia conference, where I met with many of our Asian Tour broadcast partners, including CCTV, Astro Malaysia, StarHub Singapore, Sportcast Taiwan, JTBC Korea, PCCW Hong Kong together with our partners from IMG.
On a different type of media front, we will be embarking on the next phase of our #whereitsAT campaign. This time we will be focusing on the up and coming players of the Asian Tour. Gavin Green, Shubhankar Sharma, Bowen Xiao and Daisuke Kataoka are a handful of the players that will be featured in the campaign that is scheduled to be launched later this year.
The Volvo China Open, which will be under way from April 26 to 29 at the Topwin Golf and Country Club in Beijing, is tri-sanctioned by the Asian Tour, China Golf Association and the European Tour. This is the first time the event is featured on our schedule since 2008! The field will comprise of at least 30 stars from the Asian Tour, including in-form players Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Shubhankar Sharma. The duo has achieved tremendous success over the past few weeks and we are confident that they will do well at China’s National Open.
Thailand’s Kiradech had an amazing run at the two previous World Golf Championships events that were played by the world’s best golfers. He finished tied-fifth at the WGC-Mexico Championship and reached the quarterfinals at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play before losing to the eventual champion, Bubba Watson. Our 2013 Order of Merit champion already has a victory under his belt this year, having won the ISPS Handa World Super 6 Perth in February.
India’s rising superstar Sharma also has an equally impressive lead up to the Volvo China Open. He currently tops the Habitat for Humanity Standings after winning the Maybank Championship, grabbed the 54-hole lead before settling for tied-ninth at the WGC-Mexico Championship and broke the course record with a sizzling 64 at the Hero Indian Open enroute to a tied-seventh finish.
We wish them and our Asian Tour players all the very best in the upcoming tournaments.
And, as always, we would like to thank you for your continued support of the Asian Tour.