Kuala Lumpur, Nov 6: As many as 29 events and a whopping over 26.5 million dollar prize money will be up for grabs as the Asian Tour today announced a bumper 2007 Schedule, creating new milestones in the golf history of the continent.
Five new tournaments, three in Indonesia and one each in Cambodia and Malaysia, will make their debuts on the burgeoning Asian Tour Schedule and the new events are the Motorola International Bintan, Jakarta Masters, Indonesian International Championship, Cambodian Open and Johor Classic in Malaysia.
Next season's total prize money will be over 100 per cent more than what was offered in 2004 when the region's players formed the Asian Tour.
No fewer than eight established events on the Schedule will raise their prize funds in 2007, said Kyi Hla Han, Executive Chairman of the Asian Tour. Additionally, several other events are in final negotiations.
Han said the 2007 Schedule heralds the dawn of a new era for the world's fastest growing circuit as it will surpass the record of 24 million dollar offered through the staging of 27 events in the on-going 2006 season.
''We are delighted to unveil our 2007 Schedule which surpasses the record for both the number of events staged in a season and the total prize money on offer. We are also optimistic that we can go beyond 30 events,'' said Han.
Han feels the announcement of a strong 2007 Schedule couldn't have been better timed with the Asian Tour's finest players, led by India's Jeev Milkha Singh, making waves in the world of golf. Singh, the current leader of the Asian Tour's UBS Order of Merit, won the recent Volvo Masters in Spain, one of Europe's most prestigious events.
''We are pushing towards the forefront of international golf. Not only will we have a solid Schedule in 2007, our players are also producing outstanding performances, both at home and abroad, which reinforce our rising standards of play,'' Han said.
Apart from the UBS Order of Merit counting events, other main highlights of the 2007 Schedule are the Visa Dynasty Cup in August, a Ryder Cup-style match which pits Japan against Asia, and the WGC-World Cup in China in November.
A total of nine events will be co-sanctioned with the European Tour, which Han believes will continue to benefit both Tours and the players.
''International cooperation will remain a priority as it creates opportunities for sponsors and players to benefit greatly from strategic partnerships,'' said Han.
2007 Asian Tour Calendar: Jan 11-14: Philippine Open, Wack Wack GCC, Manila ($300,000) Jan 18-21: Pakistan Open, Karachi GC, Karachi ($300,000) Jan 25-28: Commercialbank Qatar Masters, Doha GC, Doha ($2 million) Feb 8-11: Maybank Malaysian Open, Saujana GCC, Kuala Lumpur ($1.29 million) Feb 15-18: Indonesia Open, Damai Indah GCC, Jakarta ($1 million) Mar 1-4: Johnnie Walker Classic, Venue TBC ($2.3 million) Mar 8-11: Singapore Masters, Laguna National Golf and CC, Singapore ($1 million) Mar 15-18: TCL Classic, Venue TBC ($1 million) Mar 22-25: Motorola International Bintan, Ria Bintan GC, Bintan ($350,000) Marc 27-28: British Open Qualifier, Sentosa GC, Singapore Apr 12-15: Volvo China Open, Shanghai Silport GC, Shanghai ($2 million) Apr 19-22: BMW Asian Open, Venue TBC ($1.5 million) May 3-6: Maekyung Open, Venue TBC, Seoul ($600,000) May 17-20: Macau Open, Macau GCC, Macau ($300,000) May 24-27: SK Telecom Open, Venue TBC, Seoul ($600,000) May 31-June 3: Jakarta Masters, Venue TBC ($500,000) June 14-17: Bangkok Airways Open, Santiburi Samui CC, Samui ($400,000) June 28-July 1: Crowne Plaza Open, Venue TBC, Malaysia ($300,000) July 5-8: Johor Classic, Royal Johor GC, Johor, Malaysia ($300,000) July 12-15: Brunei Open, Empire Hotel and CC, Bandar Seri Begawan, ($300,000) Aug 16-19: Visa Dynasty Cup, Venue TBC Aug 23-26: Indonesian International Championship, Venue TBC, Jakarta ($400,000) Sept 13-16: Pulai Springs Malaysian Masters, Pulai Springs Resort, Johor Bahru ($300,000) Sept 20-23: Taiwan Open, Sunrise GCC, Taipei ($1 million) Sept 27-30: Mercuries Taiwan Masters, Taiwan GCC, Taipei ($500,000) Oct 4-7: Kolon-Hana Bank Korea Open, Woo Jeong Hills CC, Seoul ($750,000) Oct 11-14: Hero Honda Indian Open, Delhi GC, New Delhi ($500,000) Oct 25-28: TBA Nov 1-4: Barclays Singapore Open, Sentosa GC, Singapore ($4 million) Nov 8-11: HSBC Champions (s), Sheshan International Golf Club, Shanghai ($5 million) Nov 15-18: UBS Hong Kong Open, Hong Kong GC, Hong Kong ($2 million) Nov 22-25: WGC-World Cup, Mission Hills GC, Shenzhen, China ($5 million) Dec 6-9: Cambodian Open, Phokeethra CC, Siem Reap ($300,000) Dec 13-16: Volvo Masters of Asia, Thai Country Club, Bangkok, ($650,000)