European Tour Chief Executive George O’Grady has totally refuted, in the strongest possible terms, words attributed to him by Ivan Ballesteros in a press release regarding the EurAsia Cup.
O’Grady said: “I have read the release and I categorically refute the comments that Ivan has attributed to me stating that the EurAsia Cup is a ‘mistake’ and ‘not sustainable’. It is simply not the case. We are very much looking forward to the initial playing of the match next month where two excellent teams are coming together under the captaincy of two of the greats of the game – Thongchai Jaidee and Miguel Angel Jiménez.
“Everyone knows that, following support from the Malaysian Government and presenting sponsor DRB-Hicom Berhad, we were delighted to be given the opportunity to join forces with the Asian Tour to become partners in this new and exciting venture.
“The commercial structure of the EurAsia Cup offers The European Tour a tremendous opportunity to further develop business interests, including television rights, in a part of the world where our existing relationships and partnerships are already strong.
“Just as The Ryder Cup delivers substantial benefit in many ways to the Tour and to the countries chosen to host the match, as the EurAsia Cup develops, it is our hope that the countries chosen over the years to showcase the contest will also benefit from a similar legacy.”
While conceding comments attributed to him in December regarding the Royal Trophy had been made erroneously, O’Grady continued: “The European Tour no longer officially sanctions the Royal Trophy due to philosophical differences of principle with promoters Entertainment Group (Asia) Ltd – in particular in relation to the qualification process and the television rights negotiations.”