Golf: China to host first Asian Tour tournament since 2008

Shanghai (AFP) - The Asian Tour will sanction its first tournament in China for nine years in Xiamen next month, officials said on Monday (Oct 30).

The Asian Golf Championship will be the inaugural event under the Tour's strategic partnership signed with the China Golf Association in March.

The agreement is significant because the Asian Tour had been largely shut out of the giant potential market since China joined forces with the rival OneAsia Tour in 2009.

The event at Xiamen's Kaikou Golf Club from Nov 30 to Dec 3 will have a purse of US$350,000 (S$477,547) and feature both Asian Tour and China Tour professionals.

"A new chapter for Asian golf is ready to be written," said Asian Tour chief executive officer Josh Burack in a statement.

China has long been hailed as an important future market for golf and has produced players such as Zhang Lianwei, Liang Wenchong, Wu Ashun and Li Haotong, who have all won on the European Tour.