Kuala Lumpur: The burgeoning Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) Tour will see an increase in prize purse and number of events next year, signalling the Tour’s intent to provide a sustainable future for Malaysian playing professionals.
The 2012 season will see 19 tournaments taking place nationwide, with an average prize purse of RM125,000 totalling RM3 million. Three events – PGM CCM Impian Masters (March 8-11), PGM Terengganu Masters (June 25-28) and PGM KLGCC Classic (November 8-11) will feature on the Asian Development Tour calendar with another three more – PGM Johor Classic (April 4 – 7), PGM A’Famosa Classic (May 10-13) and PGM Sarawak Classic (October 4 – 7) awaiting confirmation from the Asian Tour.
In keeping with PGM’s chairman Tun Ahmad Sarji Abdul Hamid’s commitment to uplift the standard of play in the local paid ranks, the season-ending tour championship next year will be renamed the PGM Masters Invitational, with invites extended to top regional professionals to bolster the tournament’s line-up.
To ensure that the local professionals are on their feet, only the top 50 players in this year’s Order of Merit after the season-ending RM300,000 PGM Masters on December 23, 2011 will be earn automatic starts in 2012. The remainder of the professionals, including newly-qualified Professional Golf Association of Malaysia (PGAM) members, will be required to earn their Tour cards through a three-day qualifying school set for January 3 -5 at Impian Golf & Country Club and Kinrara Golf Club.
Another qualifying school is scheduled from June 12 – 14, with a qualifying player entitled to Tour playing privileges till December 2011. The qualifying score at both events will 231 with an average daily score of five-over 77.
“I’m very glad that the first season of the PGM Tour took place without any glitches and kept to the schedule laid down late last year, except for one event which we had to change the venue due to floods in Perlis. I like to express my gratitude to the various sponsors, golf clubs and media organisations who have extended their support in ensuring that the PGM Tour got off to a great start,” said Ahmad Sarji during the 2012 calendar unveiling ceremony at Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club earlier today.
“Overall, I’m very pleased with what we have achieved this year. In the early stages of the tour, only the more established players were making an impact but as we moved further into the year, some of the veterans also proved their ‘vintage’ worth and we had young winners like Mohd Iylia Jamil and Kemarol Baharin lay their mark as well. I believe that by giving our professionals a sustainable and competitive platform to hone their game, it will not only prepare them for bigger challenges ahead but also increase their standard of professionalism and discipline,” he added.
When asked about the qualifying school hurdle, Ahmad Sarji affirmed that the Tour despite its good intention to ensure that local professionals have an outlet for income, has to show results if it is to remain a sustainable and sponsor-friendly entity. “We have to ensure that the professionals playing in our Tour meet the minimum standard of play expected from those in the paid ranks and the simple gauge is we need more players shooting under-par totals.
“Only then can we attract more sponsors to come onboard and support the Tour, as in the long run, we must be able to show transparent and accountable results to justify their investments in the domestic circuit,” he shared.
PGM TOUR MALAYSIA 2012 CALENDAR
Jan 11 – 14 PGM Sime Darby Harvard Classic – RM 125,000
Feb 08 – 11 PGM Perlis Classic – RM 125,000
Feb 19 – 22 PGM Kelantan Classic – RM 125,000
Mar 08 – 11 PGM Impian Masters – RM 180,000 (ADT Event)
Mar 28 – 31 PGM Perak Classic – RM 125,000
Apr 04 – 07 PGM Johor Classic – RM 180,000 (ADT Event – TBC)
Apr 18 – 21 PGM Sabah Classic – RM 200,000
May 10 – 13 PGM A’Famosa Classic – RM 180,000 (ADT Event – TBC)
May 23 – 26 PGM I & P Kinrara Classic – RM 125,000
June 06 – 09 PGM Melaka Classic – RM 125,000
June 25 – 28 PGM Terengganu Masters – RM 220,000 (ADT Event)
July 11 – 14 PGM PNB Lanjut Classic – RM 125,000
Sep 05 – 08 PGM PGM North Port Templer Park Classic – RM 125,000
Sep 19 – 22 PGM Penang Classic – RM 125,000
Oct 04 – 07 PGM Sarawak Classic – RM 180,000 (ADT Event)
Oct 17 – 20 PGM Negeri Sembilan Classic – RM 125,000
Nov 08 – 11 PGM MIDF KLGCC Masters – RM 180,000 (ADT Event)
Nov 21 – 24 PGM UMW Serendah Classic – RM 180,000
Dec 12 – 15 PGM Masters Invitational – RM 300,000