It’s the oil money effect.’
Korean male golfers flocked to the Asian Tour Qualifying School (hereafter referred to as Q School), which was supported by Saudi Arabia.
From the 18th, 42 Korean players participated in the final qualifiers for the 2023 Asian Tour Q School held at four courses at the Lakeview Resort and Golf Club near Hua Hin, Thailand. In terms of the number of participants by country, Thailand has the most, with 34. A whopping 141 Korean players participated from the first qualifying round.
The 42 participants in the final qualifying round range from players from the KPGA Korean Tour to players from the US (PGA) and Japan (JGTO).
Among domestic players, Ham Jeong-woo (29), who won two wins on the KPGA Korean Tour, Bae Yong-joon (22), Lee Soo-min (30), Moon Do-yeop (32), Cho Min-gyu (35), and Kim Dong-min (25), who won the rookie award last year, have the most. Bae Sang-moon (37) and Kim Min-hwi (31), who have been active on the and Korn Ferry Tour, and Hwang Jung-gon (31), who won 4 victories at Japan’s JGTO, also knocked on the door of the Asian Tour.
The reason why many domestic male golfers flocked to the Asian Tour is because the competition has grown, with the size of prize money and the number of tournaments increasing. 메이저사이트
In the meantime, the Asian tour has not been popular due to the US PGA Tour, Europe’s DP World Tour, and Japan’s JGTO.
The prize money is not large, and since the competition is held in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, India, Singapore, Taiwan, and Korea, the competition is held all over Asia. Because of this, Korean players did not feel much attraction. The total prize money per competition held before 2022 averaged between $700,000 and $1 million.
However, the atmosphere has changed as the status has changed since last year. As the Asian Tour, sponsored by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, launched the International Series, the number of tournaments coveted by Korean players has increased significantly.
Four international series, with a total prize pool of 2 million to 2.5 million dollars, are scheduled until May this year. Six competitions were held last year, and the plan is to increase the number to 10. The Korean Tour’s largest prize money tournaments are the 1.5 billion won Genesis Championship and the KPGA Championship.
Also, the PIF Saudi International, which will be held as the opening game in February, has a total prize money of 5 million dollars. It is comparable to the PGA Tour prize money and similar in size to the decent DP World Tour.
In addition, various benefits given according to performance are also attracting Korean players to the Asian Tour. The prize winner will also have a chance to compete in the LIV Golf Invitational Series. Literally, if you get good grades, you will be on a solid road.
Thanks to that, Korean-American Kim Si-hwan, who won the Asian Tour prize money prize in 2022, participated in six tournaments in the LIV Golf Invitational Series this year and won prize money of 2.382 million dollars (approximately 2.93 billion won). This is more than twice the total amount of prize money (1,199,879 dollars) earned in six years on the Asian Tour.
It is also attractive that if you receive the right to participate, it can be combined with the Korean Professional Golf Association (KPGA) Korean Tour. Among the Korean tours, the GS Caltex Maekyung Open, the Kolon Korea Open, and the Shinhan Donghae Open are held jointly with the Asian Tour. Even if you do not qualify for the Korean Tour, you can participate as an Asian Tour qualification. In addition, the Korean Tour starts its season from April, but the Asian Tour starts its season in February, so the tour activity period is extended, allowing more tournaments to be played.
The Asian Tour Q School will play 5 rounds of 90 holes, and the top 40 players will receive the right to participate.