Tour showpiece cut over lack of star players

December 2, 2013 7:17 AM

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SINGAPORE: The inaugural OneAsia Championship has been axed from this year's schedule after failing to attract enough star players, organisers said Monday.

This week's $2 million tournament at southern China's Mission Hills was intended to be the climax of the stroke-play events on the OneAsia calendar.

It is one of a number of Asian tournaments to be hit in what OneAsia called a "year of consolidation", which follows a long period of expansion.

"The tournament promoters set a high bar for the inaugural championship, but unfortunately several of the targeted players already had commitments, so the first edition has been postponed," a statement said.

The postponement means Rory McIlroy's victory at the Australian Open on Sunday marked the final OneAsia stroke-play event this year.

It also confirms Australia's Matthew Griffin as this year's order of merit winner, mainly thanks to his SK Telecom Open win in South Korea in May.

OneAsia, one of Asia's two rival golf circuits, now has the December 12-15 Dongfeng Nissan Cup team tournament as the final event on its 2013 schedule.

"It has been a year of consolidation both for OneAsia and the industry in general, but we expect to shortly announce an outline of our expanded 2014 schedule," OneAsia said.

Asia's congested golf calendar has lost several tournaments including the Avantha Masters, which was India's only European-sanctioned event.

The Charity High1 Resort Open dropped off the OneAsia schedule and the flagship Singapore Open, once dubbed "Asia's major", took a year's break after being unable to find a title sponsor.

OneAsia's rival, the Asian Tour, postponed the inaugural Vietnam Masters to an as yet unconfirmed date, and this week's Hong Kong Open remains without a title sponsor and was downgraded on the European Tour schedule.

The European and PGA tours have already started their new-look, 'wrap-around' 2013-2014 schedules, making it harder for Asian events to attract top players.


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