Greg Norman declared it’s ‘only the beginning’ after the Asian Tour formally announced the addition of 10 ‘marquee events’ as part of a 25-event 2022 tour schedule.
News of this massive boost to golf’s third-largest Tour comes on the back of confirmation the two-time major-winning Norman has been appointed CEO of LIV Golf Investments.
The new Asian Tour events will be staged annually over the next 10 years with a commitment of over $200m (€173m) that will greatly enhance playing opportunities and prize purses from a newly-formed company, LIV Golf Investments, backed by the Private Investment Fund which operates on behalf of the government of Saudi Arabia.
The events will be played across Asia, the Middle East and Europe and will join established Asian Tour tournaments to comprise a 25-event season from 2022.
Of course, this unprecedented financial lift for the Asian Tour is all about promoting Saudi investment in the ancient game and staging tournaments to attract some of the game’s best being lured to compete in events outside of the auspices of both the PGA and European Tours.
“It’s only the beginning,” said former world number one Norman.
“LIV Golf Investments has secured a major capital commitment that will be used to create additive new opportunities across worldwide professional golf. We will be a cooperative and respectful supporter of the game at every level, and today’s announcement alongside the Asian Tour is the first example of that.
“I have been a staunch supporter and believer in playing and developing golf in Asia for more than four decades. The Asian Tour is a sleeping giant and we share ambition to grow the series and unlock what we believe is significant untapped potential.
“We see our promotion of these new events as a vital first step in supporting emerging markets, creating a new platform, rich with playing opportunities that create valuable player pathways.”
Cho Minn Thant, Commissioner and CEO of the Asian Tour, added: “This is the single biggest development in the history of the Asian Tour and a major milestone for professional golf.
“The opportunity will secure unprecedented new playing opportunities, establish new player pathways, allow us to compete commercially with other sports, and enhance our social agenda.”
The announcement follows a recent 10-year partnership between the Asian Tour and Golf Saudi, which now runs the Saudi International, an event played for three years from 2019 to earlier this year under the European Tour flag.