The National Golf Association of the Philippines will hold the Philippine Open in December at Wack Wack East with players from the Asian, One Asia and Japan Tours seeing action, a press release from the NGAP said.
Through this tournament, the organizers hope to unite the major golf tours in Asia.
One Asia has committed to enlisting 25 of its top players and is close to striking a deal with the Japan Tour to be able to invite at least the same number of standouts to play in the Dec. 5-8 event.
“We have developed a unique relationship with the Japan Tour and I would like to see it happen in the Philippines,” Sang Chun, One Asia’s chairman and commissioner, said during the press launch of the event at Wack Wack yesterday.
“The Philippine Open is steeped in history and is the oldest (national) championship in Asia,” Chun said.
Chun will be flying to Japan tomorrow armed with a memorandum of agreement with the NGAP for the next three years. The 2014 playdate of the Open will then be held either in March of April so that it is off-season in Japan, the press release said.
NGAP has also opened the doors for at least 40 Filipino pros, allowing them to see action in a big-money tournament.
“We want our pros to be able to play against the very best in the region,” NGAP president Tommy Manotoc, who was also joined in the launch by Wack Wack president and NGAP director Philip Ella Juico, WW VP Butch Campos, One Asia media director David Fox, NGAP vice-president Caloy Coscoluella and NGAP junior golf development head Aurelio Montinola, said.
“This will be entirely a show run by the NGAP this year,” Manotoc added. “But for the next three years starting next year, the Open will be an event that will be co-sanctioned by the One Asia and Japan Tours.”
One Asia and the Asian Tour have been at odds ever since the formation of One Asia in 2009, with the Asian Tour even sanctioning some of its players if they play in its rival tour.
That issue was resolved by a Singapore court, which asked the Asian Tour to return fines paid by the players. The Asian Tour did not contest the ruling, sending a signal that augurs well for Manotoc’s vision, the press release said.*
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