Sihwan Kim of Korea (Getty Images)
The European Tour, the Korean Professional Golfers Association (KPGA) and Parallel Media Group (PMG) has reached a groundbreaking agreement to stage the ‘Korean Qualifiers’, a series of qualifying tournaments which will allow Korean players to compete in selected events on The European and Challenge Tours.
The KPGA estimates that each of the qualifiers, which will be held across Korea in June and August this year, will attract between 250 and 400 hopefuls.
The entrants will be competing for starting places in the following European Tour events: the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open, staged at Castle Stuart Golf Links from July 11-14; the Italian Open, held at Golf Club Torino from September 19-22; the Portugal Masters, staged at Oceânico Victoria Golf Course from October 10-13; and The 2014 Championship in Korea.
In addition there will be places available through the qualifiers for three tournaments on the 2013 Challenge Tour Schedule, namely: the Scottish Hydro Challenge hosted by Macdonald Hotels and Resorts, held at Macdonald Spey Valley Golf Club from June 20-23; the Northern Ireland Open Challenge Presented by Clannah and XJET, staged at Galgorm Castle, Golf Club and Estates from August 29-September 1; and the lucrative Kazakhstan Open, held at Nurtau Golf Club from September 19-22.
David Ciclitira, Chairman of Parallel Media Group, said: “It has been our intention to help grow professional golf in Korea. Having promoted on The European Tour in more than a dozen countries over a 25-year period, it comes as no surprise to me that The European Tour shares our vision to help young Korean professionals play on the international schedule.
Keith Waters, Chief Operating Officer and Director of International Policy for The European Tour, said: “The European Tour appreciates the support of the KPGA, and would like to assist them in the development of their players. The players who are successful in progressing through the qualifiers will have a great opportunity to play and gain experience against world-class players on European soil.”
Sung Ha Hwang, Chairman of the KPGA, said: “We are delighted for our members to have the opportunity of playing on The European and Challenge Tours. It is fantastic for Korea, and for Korean golf.”