This year’s International Series will feature 10 matches, one of which will take place in Scotland, the sport’s birthplace.
The Asian Tour has the opportunity to challenge the game’s hierarchy because the DP World Tour is “weaker than at any point in its history.”
Last week, the International Series made it to Vietnam, the fourth stop on an itinerary that includes the Middle East, the UK, and many other locations.
With the addition of a tournament at St. Andrews just weeks after it was announced that the Hong Kong Open would be one of the elevated tournaments, the program for 2023 now has 10.
The series will continue to grow; in fact, authorities have already stated that they would like as many as 14 competitions. Tour CEO Cho Minn Thant praised the addition of the St Andrews Bay Championship as a “testament to the global vision” of the series.
A visit to the birthplace of golf in August is more than just a pilgrimage; it also serves as a signal that the organization wants to expand farther into the DP World Tour’s core markets after decades of its competitor doing the opposite.
Rahul Singh, the director of the International Series, stated that there can be no better site to play one of our tournaments than where the game originated. We are an ambitious program that seeks to travel and move beyond our typical bounds to help promote the game. Beyond the series, the Asian Tour also hopes to gain a presence in the US with the help of its Q-school.
The DP World Tour is facing that challenge as a result of the fight over golf’s future, and even while it won the arbitration case last week against the LIV players who departed to join the rival organization, that has not necessarily made its position stronger.
One DPWT source, according to a Golf Digest report, called it “weaker than at any stage in its history” and questioned the strategic partnership with the PGA Tour. Events that amount to too much nothing. The insider said that there were “too many ‘nothing players’ competing for virtually nothing, with virtually no one watching in person or on television.” It’s a terrible situation. They have to get out from under the PGA Tour’s control.
The International Series, which is still in its infancy, has a low attendance rate, doesn’t receive much prime-time coverage, and doesn’t compare to the prestige of DPWT events like the Dubai Desert Classic or BMW PGA Championship. However, the US$2 million prize pools are more than adequate for rival tournaments like the Indian Open, Porsche European Open in Germany, or the Soudal Open in Belgium.Due to its association with LIV, the Asian Tour is able to attract players with recognizable names. Players like Sergio Garcia, Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, and Brooks Koepka have all participated in tournaments this season, while Paul Casey and Anriban Lahiri were in Vietnam.
All of them are a part of LIV Golf, which has invested about US$300 million in the Asian Tour. While some observers think the DP World Tour will be able to dictate how it deals with those who have left as a result of the court decision, this ignores the influence of a developing organization that has sizable financial support from Saudi Arabia.
The only thing Casey and Lahiri would say about their opinions on the court case was that they were focused on their games and would “let the people in power figure it out.”
Casey, who won 15 times on the DPWT, said he didn’t have a “crystal ball” when asked whether or not the Asian Tour could one day be as competitive as its European competitor.
Lahiri, though, asserted that the day when the Tour would be a realistic choice has already come and not in the far future.
He said, “I don’t think we have to talk about it in the future tense. “It’s already happening, it’s happened in the past; many of the golf superstars played here at one point; many of the people who are now on the front pages of magazines began playing golf here; some of them still come back and play here.”Given the support the Asian Tour currently enjoys, I don’t believe it is a question of if it will happen again; rather, I believe it is only going to get better. The most recent example of someone who developed their abilities in Asia before traveling to compete among the best is Tom Kim, who is now showcasing his value in the US.
But not everyone takes that route, and since the International Series order of merit winner gets a berth on the LIV circuit, players have other alternatives when it comes to making a living.
Wade Ormsby, who has achieved success in Asia on several occasions, claimed that the Tour had become a “destination Tour” as a result of the modifications and the pathway to LIV.
The Asian Tour is now being played exclusively by players who came here to play it, he remarked, as opposed to the past when we would have played some matches in Europe and some in Asia.
The quality of the fields has increased dramatically, and the Asian Tour is now very different from what it was in the past.