The past two months saw the Asian Tour make significant inroads into East Asia with our successful return to the GS Caltex Maekyung Open and the Kolon Korea Open following a long nine-year gap. This came as a result of our long-term agreement with the Korean Golf Association. These high-profile events, together with another one of the aptly named “Korean Majors” the Shinhan Donghae Open that is coming up in September, have consolidated the Asian Tour’s strong position in the golf hotbed of Korea. Keeping close relations with the KGA and Korean Professional Golfers’ Association (KPGA) is vital going forward.
Last week at the Kolon Korea Open Golf Championship there were many memorable moments. In particular, we saw firsthand how the champion, Minchel Choi, held off compatriot Sanghyun Park’s late challenge on the final day to win the tournament by two shots. It was a superb display of skill and tenacity. Since the tournament was part of The Open Qualifying Series, Choi who took up Asian Tour membership after his win and runner-up Park earned spots at The Open this July in Carnoustie, Scotland. We wish them both success at their first major championship.
A refreshing champion and the Tour’s important work for Habitat for Humanity
Looking back at the Thailand Open, Panuphol Pittayarat, also known as “Coconut,” claimed his second Asian Tour title at his National Open. Coconut has one of the best all-round games on Tour, so it came as no surprise to see him earn the coveted trophy. That week also saw the Asian Tour and Thai Country Club raising funds for our sustainable development partner, Habitat for Humanity. By selling pro-am spots, merchandise and soliciting donations, together we raised enough to donate 250,000 Baht to Habitat for Humanity Thailand. This amount will be used to build a new house for a family in need of a safe place to live. It is fantastic to have the Tour is serving such a worthy cause.
The Kolon Korea Open and the Queen’s Cup marked the start of another busy stretch of back-to-back tournaments. Next, we had the inaugural Sarawak Championship and the Indonesia Open, which has boosted its prize money from $300,000 to $500,000 thanks to increased sponsorship from Bank BRI. It’s a hectic schedule, but that is what keeps us going.
Thank you to all for your support of the Asian Tour!