The European Tour and Asian Tour made a joint announcement on Friday that sounds, after reading through the side-stepping gibberish, like a merger. But is it?
The two tours shared what they have termed an “innovative joint vision for the future of professional golf,” that will see the “business element and the Membership portfolios of both Tours combine,” according to a release.
So, a merger?
The hope is that this vision, which now has to be discussed by the boards of both tours, will lead to more playing opportunities around the world and higher purses. Asian Tour chief executive Mike Kerr said, in part, that this agreement, whatever it actually is, will establish “a defined career pathway for all players.” That could imply that the leading money winners on the Asian Tour will earn status on the European Tour or perhaps combining the Asian Tour and Challenge Tour schedules.
The details of what this deal is and isn’t will eventually emerge, so, for now, we’ll just say that the two tours will work together more closely than they do now and have since the first co-sanctioned European Tour and Asian Tour event at the Maybank Malaysian Open in 1999.