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Asian Tour upset over new tournament

The Asian Tour is angry that the European Tour will stage the inaugural Indian Masters next year without its approval, describing the move as "unethical".

"The Asian Tour is appalled with the European Tour's plans to stage a tournament in India without the sanction of the Asian Tour," executive chairman Kyi Hla Han said in a statement on Monday.

"This move is clearly unethical and against the protocol that exists within the framework of the International Federation of PGA Tours, of which both tours are full members."

Earlier, the European Tour announced that the $2.5-million event co-sanctioned with the Indian Golf Union would be staged from Feb. 7-10 at a venue to be decided.

"We are always keen to expand our tournament portfolio into new territories and we believe the Indian Masters offers huge potential on that front," said European Tour chief executive George O'Grady.

"Thanks to Indian pioneers such as Jeev Milkha Singh and Arjun Atwal, both popular champions on the European Tour, along with Jyoti Randhawa and Shiv Kapur, professional golf in India has taken a massive step forward over the past decade."

General JJ Singh, president of the Indian Golf Union, said the tournament was a result of the growing status of the sport in his country.

"It is an historic moment...a European Tour event being held in India boasting of the richest prize money in the history of Indian golf," said Singh.

The Asian Tour, however, was unhappy about the lack of consultation.

"There has been no approach or communication to inform the Asian Tour about the event or its intentions," said Han. "Since the Asian Tour became a member of the International Federation, all new events the European Tour has been involved with in Asia have been co-sanctioned with the Asian Tour.

"This action reflects on the European Tour's aggressive direction without any concern for the protocol of the international federation and highlights an invasive position on Asia."


June 12, 2007

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