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Tour News (posted 16th July 1998)

Omega Tour joins PGA Tours International Federatiom

Southport, Lancashire - : The PGA Tours International Federation, the governing body for the world's leading professional golf tours, have announced that the Asian PGA's Omega Tour has been accepted as its sixth and newest member.

Speaking during a press conference at Royal Birkdale, venue for the 1998 Open Championship, Ken Schofield, Executive Director, PGA European Tour, welcomed the Omega Tour as an associate member of the PGA Tours International
Federation, with a view to it becoming a full member in the year 2000.

"The debate on the Omega Tour was based on consistency, and the feeling was that any tour wishing to join the PGA Tours International Federation would need to demonstrate five years of operation and schedule," said Schofield.

"The Omega Tour is well into its fourth year, and well-placed to become a full member of the PGA Tours International Federation at the beginning of the millennium."

The PGA Tours International Federation was set up in March 1996 by the US PGA Tour, the PGA Tour of Australasia, the PGA Tour of Japan, the PGA European Tour, and the Southern Africa PGA Tour.

"This is a truly historic day for Asian sport and the greatest moment of my involvement with Asian professional golf," said Ramlan Dato Harun, Executive Director, Asian PGA.

"It has taken the Omega Tour less than five years to get where we are today - we now have full voting rights with the PGA Tours International Federation and we will be taking an active part in the Federation's decision-making process from now on.
"It is also a question of credibility, and we now have a much increased standing in the eyes of the golfing world. The issue of world ranking points has yet to be finalised, but I am confident that once we become a full member, ranking points will be available at most of our Omega Tour events."

The press conference was called by the PGA Tours International Federation to announce the formation of The World Golf Championship, a series of four US$5 million events that will see the game's top players competing against each other in a variety of competitive formats.

"Now that the Asian PGA's membership has been approved, I am confident that Asia will be given the opportunity to stage a World Golf Championships event in the not too distant future," added Harun.

"I am also confident that it will improve our members' chances of competing in what will be an elite series of tournaments across the world."

The Asian PGA was set-up in July 1994, and now represents the PGA's from 12 member nations. The Asian PGA's Omega Tour was inaugurated the following year.