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Asian Tour unhappy with Australian PGA

The Asian Tour has accused the Australian PGA of trying to muscle-in on its turf and has asked for urgent talks with golf's international tour body to settle the issue.

Kyi Hla Han, the tour's executive chairman, said the Australian PGA's moves to create a regional golf super-circuit were "ignorant" attempts to undermine the Asian Tour.

"The PGA of Australia has stepped out of its boundaries which the Asian Tour disapproves (of)," Han said in a strongly-worded statement issued on Tuesday.

"The Asian Tour views the PGA of Australia's recent overtures into Asia as a clear violation of the (International Federation of PGA Tours') ideals."

Han, a former order of merit winner on the Asian Tour, added: "We also strongly oppose its blatant action of entering the Asian market to conduct its plans to establish a so-called Asia Pacific golf tour without the official involvement of the Asian Tour."

China, South Korea and Japan last week pledged their support for the new tour -- often referred to as the "OneAsia Tour" -- but the Asian Tour opted out, saying there was no room for two circuits in Asia.

Han on Friday said his tour had repeatedly been snubbed by the Australian PGA, despite having asked to be involved in talks about the new circuit.

Australian PGA commissioner Ben Sellenger on Sunday said the new tour did not need the Asian Tour's approval, which Han described as "an ignorant attempt to disregard the role of the Asian Tour".

The Asian Tour currently has 28 events in 17 countries and features players of 24 different nationalities, many from countries which have backed the new tour, scheduled to start in January next year.


March 19, 2008

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