With a proposed merger between the Asian and European Tours falling through earlier this year, new Asian Tour CEO Josh Burack called the alternative strategic alliance a “great option” that will create more tournaments and opportunities for their players.
The agreement for the tours to work together was struck in July after Burack’s predecessor Mike Kerr, who had backed a full merger of playing memberships and business interests, stepped down last December due to deep divisions over the move.
“The alliance is a partnership that commits us to working more together,” Burack said in an interview at the $2 million Hong Kong Open, which is sanctioned by both tours. “If the European Tour puts a new tournament into Asia, they need to do it with us. That’s very important because it ensures that we maintain half the field for our players.”
Last month, the Asian Tour announced the first new tournament co-sanctioned with the European Tour, the Philippine Masters, which will take place starting in 2018.
Burack, who joined the Asian Tour in October, said it would be the first of several new events in the region.
“We will have at least one new tournament with the European Tour in 2017 as well in the Asia-Pacific region,” he said. “We have ambitions to have more tournaments with them in the years ahead. Last year we had seven co-sanctioned tournaments with the European Tour and our joint ambition is to grow that.”