The PGA EuroPro Tour, the development Tour where players compete for graduation to the Challenge and DP World Tours, has declined six invites to the Asian Tour's International Series event at Slaley Hall.
The $2m tournament will be the ninth event on the Asian Tour calendar and the second in the International Series, which will be played in June 2022. The top-three will earn a place in the field at the lucrative LIV Golf Invitational Series event at the Centurion Club the following week.
Speaking of the decision, Dan Godding, PGA EuroPro Tour CEO told Golf Monthly: "It is difficult for us to turn down opportunities to our members but we always do so with the best intentions. It is important to note the PGA EuroPro Tour will always offer a fabulous and educational pathway but will never manage or restrict the careers of our members.
"The PGA EuroPro Tour has always been clear on its objectives to offer five Challenge Tour cards to the top-5 each year. We are exceptionally thankful to our friends at the DP World Tour who continue to support the PGA EuroPro Tour and offer a developmental programme to the up and coming, the kids that will be tomorrow's superstars and the next generation of role models within the game.
"This route to the top is one of golf's most reliable pathways and has been the beginning of so many careers and fortunes."
Although similar in name, the International Series is separate to that of the LIV Golf Invitational Series. The International Series is a sequence of Asian Tour events across Thailand, UK, Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia, the Middle East and then China, Singapore and Hong Kong.
The partnership with the Asian Tour began in March when Sihwan Kim held on for victory at the inaugural event in Thailand. It will move to Slaley Hall, Northumberland, in June 2022 where players will compete with a slightly elevated purse of $2m. Incidentally, the tournament will be the first Asian Tour-sanctioned event held in the UK.
In comparison, the LIV Golf Invitational Series will comprise of eight tournaments – seven regular events and a season-closing Team Championship tournament, which will be held at Trump National Doral.
Each of the regular events will feature three rounds with no cut, and with play commencing by shotgun start. There will be a team format with no more than 48 players making up 12 teams of four, with the teams drafted each week. The Series hopes to entice players with a huge $25m purse at each of the first seven tournaments, and a $50m purse in the finale.
Both the LIV Golf Invitational Series and the Asian Tour's International Series are financially backed by LIV Golf Investments, the organisation with Greg Norman as the CEO. The majority shareholder of the organisation is the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund (PIF), one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds.
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James joined Golf Monthly having previously written for other digital outlets. He is obsessed with all areas of the game – from tournament golf, to history, equipment, technique and travel. He is also an avid collector of memorabilia; with items from the likes of Bobby Jones, Tiger Woods, Francis Ouimet, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Adam Scott and Ernie Els. As well as writing for Golf Monthly, James’ golfing highlight is fist bumping Phil Mickelson on his way to winning the Open Championship at Muirfield in 2013. James grew up on the east coast of England and is the third generation of his golfing family. He now resides in Leeds and is a member of Cobble Hall Golf Club with a handicap index of 1.7. His favourite films are The Legend of Bagger Vance and Tin Cup.
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