Bandar Seri Begawan, October 28: Professional tournament golf is set to make a long-awaited return to Brunei with the staging of a new Asian Development Tour (ADT) event – the Brunei Championships from March 7 to 10 next year.
The inaugural ADT event, which offers a prize purse of US$60,000, will mark the sultanate’s first professional golf tournament in eight years when it gets underway at the illustrious Empire Golf and Country Club, a former venue on the Asian Tour.
The Brunei Championships, supported by the Ministry of Culture, Youth & Sports, is set to attract a total of 132 players, comprising of the region’s rising stars as well as an international cast on the ADT, which was launched in 2010 as a gateway to the region’s premier Tour.
The ADT, which features 20 events across the region this season, will welcome Brunei as its newest pit stop in 2018, joining the likes of Malaysia, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, Indonesia and Pakistan as host countries.
Thai trio Pavit Tangkamolprasert, Poom Saksansin and Phachara Khongwatmai, Chinese Taipei’s Chan Shih-chang, Malaysia’s Gavin Green and Nicholas Fung, as well as reigning ADT Order of Merit champion Johannes Veerman of the United States, are all proud graduates of the ADT.
Pavit, Poom, Fung, Chan and Green, all former multiple-time winners on the region’s secondary circuit, have all broken through on the region’s premier Tour in recent years, with Poom and Chan already winning twice and Green currently leading the Asian Tour Order of Merit race.
The Ministry of Culture, Youth & Sports in Brunei has played a vital part the inauguration of the Brunei Championships with the view of encouraging top Bruneian players will take advantage of this playing opportunity to advance their careers and work their way up the ranks onto the Asian Tour.
Cho Minn Thant, Chief Operating Officer of the Asian Tour, said: “We are very delighted to return to Brunei for this inaugural event on the ADT.
“We would like to thank the Ministry of Culture, Youth & Sports and the promoter SPS Innovative Enterprise for helping to grow the game of golf in the country and across the region. Sponsorship is the lifeblood of the Tour and it is very encouraging to see the private sector supporting professional golf in this region. Our members are delighted with the new addition to the schedule and it will be fantastic to once again visit one of our favourite Tour stops.”
Stan Everitt, Director of Golf for Empire Golf & Country Club, also expressed his anticipation: “We are excited that the Tour is returning to Brunei after eight years and we look forward to welcoming the talented field from the ADT next March. It is our hope that this will bring further focus to the game of golf.”
All ADT events are afforded Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) status. The winner of each tournament receives a minimum of six OWGR points while the top-six players and ties earn points on a sliding scale.
The leading five players on the ADT Order of Merit at the end of the season will earn playing rights on the premier Asian Tour for the 2019 season.
For more information on the ADT, please visit www.asiandevelopmenttour.com.
About Asian Development Tour
The Asian Development Tour was launched in 2010 with the aim of creating a career pathway for professional golfers in Asia. Sanctioned by the Asian Tour, the Asian Development Tour will ultimately create a new playing platform for emerging stars from across Asia and around the world. Through the Asian Tour Qualifying School, players will qualify for the Asian Development Tour and enjoy the opportunity to hone their games and talent through a secondary circuit in Asia. Designed in the same structure as the Web.com Tour in America and European Challenge Tour, the Asian Development Tour is a stepping stone to the Asian Tour and the exciting world of international golf. The Asian Development Tour has been structured to ensure the best opportunities for its members. The leading five players on the Asian Development Tour will earn coveted Asian Tour cards for the following season, ensuring a proper career pathway for aspiring professionals. All ADT events receive Official World Golf Ranking points.