March 14, 2008 / 8:51 AM / 10 years ago

Four countries back super-circuit

BANGKOK (Reuters) - China, Japan, Australia and South Korea have pledged their support to the creation of a regional golf super-circuit, although the Asian Tour will not be part of it, its chief said on Friday.

“We are not going to accept it,” Kyi Hla Han told Reuters. “We don’t feel there can be two entities in the market place.”

The Japan Golf Tour Organisation, the China Golf Association, the Korean Golf Association and the PGA of Australia have agreed to give their “complete support” to the proposed tour, the Australian PGA announced on Friday.

The circuit, yet to be named but being referred to as the “OneAsia Tour”, is slated to begin in January next year.

Han said the Asian Tour had decided not to come on board having received no cooperation from the other circuits in the region.

“We have repeatedly asked help from the Australian Tour, the driving force behind this, but they have ignored us,” the Myanmar national said.

”We’ve asked them to help set up talks, they had meetings in February, they didn’t invite us.

“It’s our position that we are a success and have been accepted in the marketplace already. I don’t think we can accept two organisations.”

Han initially supported the OneAsia idea, but said it had to be a “win-win” situation for all, and the Asian Tour had more to lose because of the number of countries and players involved.

The Asian Tour has events in 17 countries and features players of 24 different nationalities.

Han said the Asian Tour should have had more of a say in the OneAsia proposal, adding: “I don’t think the Australian Tour should be the driving force here, it should have been us.”

The golf circuits of Japan, China, South Korea and Australia -- the “Founding Tours” -- have agreed to form an interim board with a chairman to be named in the coming months, the Australian PGA said.

“Each of the Founding Tours believe it is necessary to found a single regional organisation that can truly represent the common rights and benefits of relevant local golf bodies and their members,” it said in a statement.

Editing by John O'Brien

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