What was supposed to be a major boost for golf in India could now be the reason for confrontation between the Asian Tour and the European Tour. Just yesterday it was confirmed that India would be the newest destination on the European Tour with a yet to be disclosed location(most likely New Delhi) to host an event from the 7th to the 10th of February. The event would have a purse of 2.5 million dollars, the highest prize money ever to be offered for a professional Golf event in India. While this news has been welcomed with a great deal of enthusiasm by the golfing community of India, it has struck a discordant note with the Asian Tour officials.
Apparently the Asian Tour was not approached before this announcement had been made. All the new events on the European Tour in Asia have been co sanctioned with the Asian Tour, hence it does come as a surprise that the Asian Tour was not informed of this move. The executive chairman of the Asian Tour Kyi Hla Han has left no leaf unturned to ensure that the message gets across to the European Tour officials that he is revulsed by this move. He has termed it unethical on part of the European Tour for not having bothered to inform the Asian Tour. He further goes on to say "Despite media reports and quotes attributed to the European Tour, there has been no approach or communication to inform the Asian Tour about the event or its intentions".
His statement has been put on the Asian Tour website and it clearly reflects the seriousness with which the Asian Tour officials are approaching this matter. While the European Tour is not bound to inform the Asian Tour, it does seem like a violation of protocol. It would be interesting to see how the European Tour responds to the charges made against them. Would this have any impact on the Indian masters which is a regular part of the Asian Tour? One does not know, but for the sake of Golf in India where the game has grown by leaps and bounds one does hope that this issue is resolved amicably between the two tours. It would be a great pity if this "miscommunication" has any greater ramifications. The young golfers in India would definitely hope that common sense prevails so that they get an opportunity to compete against and watch some of the best golfers from the world in action.
Here is the complete statement of the executive chairman of the Asian Tour.