BMW Asian Open and the Asian Tour

The Asian Tour, which is administered from offices in Singapore, is the principal men’s professional golf tour in Asia – excluding Japan, which has a separate tour. The BMW Asian Open is one of the prestigious golf events on the Asian Tour calendar.

The first season played in the tour’s existing format was in 1995, although there had been earlier attempts to create an Asian Tour. The Asian PGA was formed in July 1994 in Hong Kong, in the presence of PGA representatives from eight countries.

In 1998, the Asian Tour became the sixth member of the International Federation of PGA Tours and, in 2002, the tour moved its office from Hong Kong to Malaysia.

In 2004, the Asian Tour was taken over by a new organisation established by the players, who had been in dispute with the previous management. In 2007, the Asian Tour moved to new headquarters on the resort island of Sentosa in Singapore, which is also the home of the tour’s richest sole sanctioned tournament, the Singapore Open.

Heading the career money list for the Asian Tour is Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee, who has won an impressive US$2.4 million, followed by India’s Jyoti Randhawa and Thai, Thaworn Wiratchant. Fourth place on the list belongs to Scot, Simon Yates, who is the only non-Asian Top-10 earner on the Asian Tour.

The schedule for the Asian Tour remains quite unstable, with several in-season cancellations, reschedulings and prize fund alterations in 2007. As of 27 September 2007, the season had 29 official money events, with a total of $27.63 million in prize money.

For those who fancy the odd wager, there are some Asian Tour top players who warrant attention during the 2008 BMW Asian Open. These include Englishman Simon Dyson, a solid Tour performer, and Asian stars such as Korea’s KJ Choi; Thai, Prayad Marksaeng; Chinese local Zhang Lian-wei and India’s Jeev Milkha Singh.