Asian Tour Boasts Record Purse


KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia -- The Asian PGA Tour will boast record prize money of $6.68 million ($11.85 million Australian) for the 2003 season.
The season begins with this week's Okinawa Open, the first Asian event to be joint-sanctioned with the Japan Tour, and ends almost 12 months later with the Volvo Masters of Asia in Thailand Dec. 11-14.
For the fourth year in a row, the tour's flagship event will be the Johnnie Walker Classic, to be staged at Lake Karrinyup Golf Club in Perth, Australia Feb. 13-16. The Johnnie Walker Classic, which South Africa's Retief Goosen won by eight shots in January, is tri-sanctioned by the Asian PGA, European and Australasian Tours.
In 2003, the tournament will be sandwiched between two other events co-sanctioned by the European Tour -- the Singapore Masters in late January and the Malaysian Open from Feb 20-23.
In all, a minimum of 20 events will be staged in 14 countries on the 2003 Asian PGA Tour..
'It's a season that promises so much,' Ramlan Harun, the Asian Tour's executive director, said in a statement. 'The prize money is very lucrative but, more importantly, we have a wonderful spread of events that traverse the region. And we are extremely confident that more tournaments will be added to the schedule.