Struggling OneAsia's foothold in Australia under threat

Tue Dec 1, 2015 1:31am EST
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By Nick Mulvenney

SYDNEY (Reuters) - OneAsia's continuing presence in Australia looked far from assured as the seventh season of the struggling Asia-Pacific golf tour drew to a close in Sydney last weekend.

The PGA of Australia was one of the main driving forces behind the establishment of OneAsia in 2009 but in June it dropped the tour from its oldest event, the Australian PGA Championship.

The European Tour will instead debut as co-sanctioners of the tournament on the Gold Coast this week, leaving the Australian Open as the last remaining stop Down Under on a shrinking OneAsia schedule.

Asked about the long-term future of the relationship between the Australian Open and OneAsia at the weekend, Golf Australia chief executive Stephen Pitt was non-committal.

"I guess, it's hard to look at it for the next four or five years because it's a very dynamic area, there's a lot going on with tours," he told reporters on Sunday.

"So at the moment we're looking at some of those things with our commercial partner Lagardere ... we'll make those decisions at the appropriate time.

"There'll be some tour options without a doubt. But I'd say it's an interesting time in terms of the tour landscape."

The interesting times have been brought about by talks over a proposed merger between the fast-expanding European Tour and the Asian Tour, a player-run organization that preceded OneAsia and bitterly opposed its establishment.   Continued...