There was exciting news for golf fanatics in China yesterday, as plans to establish a new professional golf tour staged across the country came to fruition.
The tour has been set in stone, with the start of play due to begin in 2014, after a partnership between the China Golf Association, PGA Tour and China Olympic Sports Industry (COSI) enabled the plans to go-ahead.
The creation of a tour in China is considered a big step forward in terms of the progression of the sport, with an intention of raising the level of golf across the hugely populated nation.
The Professional Golf Association already operates various tours worldwide, with third level professional golf tours such as the NEC Series-PGA Tour Latinoamérica and PGA Tour Canada taking place throughout the year.
The newly created PGA China Tour is expected to hold 12 tournaments at a number of geographical locations across the country, with the purse expected to be in the $200,000 prize range, which will be contested between 120 and 156 players in respective tournaments.
Tim Finchem, the PGA Tour Commissioner, was delighted with the recent agreement and identified the Tour as being another route for golfers to climb higher within the sport.
He said to PGATOUR.com: "We are very pleased to announce the establishment of PGA Tour China, which builds upon our longstanding relationship with the China Golf Association.
"The Tour will provide open competition on a quality tour for elite players from China and other countries and the opportunity to advance to the world stage" he added.
Zhang Xiaoning, Vice President and Secretary General of the CGA, shared Finchem's excitement and believes the deal can only benefit the country's stance within the sport.
He said: "We have seen great advancement of Chinese elite golfer development in the last few years, and the creation of this Tour is the next positive step forward for this sport in China.
"This will raise the level of golf in China even further and prepare players from China to participate in the Olympics and other significant global competitions" he expressed.
With not a single Chinese player inside the World Ranking's top 100, the latest development comes as a much needed boost for the country and should encourage a turnaround in Chinese fortunes.
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