Asian Tour announces return from 18-month hiatus

The Asian Tour has been hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Malaysia Open was the last scheduled event to be played and that was almost 18 months ago in early March 2020.

So it was with great excitement that the Tour announced that it will be finally making a return to the fairways with back-to-back inaugural events on Thailand’s Phuket Island.

Wade Ormsby Australia’s Wade Ormsby leads the Asian Tour Order Of Merit (Credit: Asian Tour)

The $1 million tournaments will include the Blue Canyon Championship at the Blue Canyon Country Club (Nov 25-28) and the Laguna Phuket Championship at Laguna Phuket Resort (Dec 2-5).

In January next year, the Tour is planning to stage a further two tournaments in Singapore, where, despite a recent rise in cases, the coronavirus has been largely contained by the island nation.

“After a difficult 18 months the Asian Tour is thrilled to announce that it is able to restart in Q4 of 2021, and most importantly expedite the return of our membership to elite competition,” said Asian Tour CEO Cho Minn Thant.

“The Asian Tour have been working around the clock to resume competition and crown the Merit list champion ‒ a challenge made more difficult by our reach across many countries and each of their COVID-related protocols. We are confident of being able to complete our season despite several remaining challenges created by the pandemic.”

Australia’s Wade Ormsby leads the Order of Merit by close to $50,000 over Trevor Simsby with another Aussies Brad Kennedy just a few dollars behind. Ormsby won the opening event of the 2020 season at the Hong Kong Open.

As an added bonus the top 30 players from the final Order of Merit will receive automatic entry into the newly-announced US$5 million Saudi International. Formerly a European Tour event, the Saudi International has inked a 10-year deal with the Asian Tour, which will no doubt lead to other opportunities with the oil-rich Kingdom.