Asian Tour on right path with representative board: Mardan

Tue Jan 26, 2016 3:39am EST
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By Patrick Johnston

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore professional and new board member Mardan Mamat believes the struggling Asian Tour can enjoy a brighter future with a stronger regional flavor following CEO Mike Kerr's surprise resignation last month.

Northern Irishman Kerr quit at a delicate time for the tour, who were deep in merger negotiations with the much larger European Tour despite concerns among some members over a lack of playing opportunities if the deal were to go ahead.

Last week, the Asian Tour said the talks would resume after the appointment of a new eight-man board, featuring four players and chaired by Indonesian businessman Jimmy Masrin.

Former chairman Kyi Hla Han was also named Interim Tour Commissioner.

Mardan, who along with India's Jeev Milkha Singh, China's Zhang Lian-wei and Thai Pariya Junhasavasdikul make up the playing board members, was pleased Asians were back in charge after Kerr's near four-year reign.

"I think we are positively thinking that we are back in the right shape," the 48-year-old told reporters on Tuesday ahead of this week's season-opening Singapore Open.

"People were saying the Asian Tour was not right but I think, in a positive way, we are trying to improve it as much as we can to make it better.

"We have very good board members now and it's a good thing we have all Asian faces on the board, so its looking very positive."   Continued...

Mardan Mamat of Singapore hits the ball out of the bunker at the 15th hole during the CIMB Asia Pacific Classic Malaysia golf tournament in Kuala Lumpur October 31, 2010.   REUTERS/Bazuki Muhammad