Sports News

Singapore Open gets European Tour sanction for 2009

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - The 2009 edition of the $5 million Singapore Open at Sentosa will be co-sanctioned by the European Tour, the Asian Tour said on Friday.

The Oct. 29-Nov. 1 tournament will offer an additional opportunity for European Tour players to boost their rankings ahead of the lucrative new season-ender at the Dubai world championship.

“A victory or high-placed finish at Sentosa could have a huge influence on the outcome of The Race to Dubai,” said European Tour chief George O’Grady.

The Asian Tour has faced a twin challenge from the global economic downturn and the new OneAsia Tour this season.

The tour’s season-ending finale, scheduled for December in Thailand, was scrapped in May after sponsors Volvo decided not to renew their contract.

The Swedish carmakers are also sponsors of the China Open, one of more than a dozen events on the continent sanctioned by the European Tour which switched from the Asian Tour to OneAsia this year.

In July, however, the European and Asian Tours reinforced their 10-year-old relationship with the establishment of a joint venture, EurAsia Golf, to act as a contact point for tournament promoters for all co-sanctioned events.

“As Asia’s richest national Championship, the (Singapore Open) has long been the flagship event on the Asian Tour,” said Asian Tour chief Kyi Hla Han.

“With the inclusion of the European Tour as a sanctioning partner, this event provides the galleries with a world-class spectacle of golf as our top players are given the opportunity to take on the best from The European Tour.”

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