The MENA Tour will launch back into post-pandemic life in Thailand next month with a brighter than ever outlook courtesy of the circuit’s freshly struck strategic alliance with the Asian Tour.
Featuring four events – two each at Laguna Golf Phuket and Blue Canyon Country Club – in a compact three-week window, the “Beautiful Thailand Swing” will mark the MENA Tour’s first action since March 2020.
The 54-hole strokeplay events will each boast US$75,000 purses and are critically all co-sanctioned by the Asian Development Tour (ADT).
All MENA Tour players who tee it up in the Beautiful Thailand Swing will also be offered Affiliate Member status on the Asian Development Tour, the final rung on the ladder to the lucrative Asian Tour which has been re-energised by a $300 million investment by the Greg Norman-fronted LIV Golf Investments.
The Beautiful Thailand Swing will finally draw the curtain on the MENA Tour’s 2020 season, now aptly named the “2020+” Journey to Jordan.
The top-10 in the order of merit rankings following the May 18-20 Blue Canyon Open will be rewarded with further ADT starts while the overall Journey to Jordan champion will also earn an invite to one of the Asian Tour’s new, marquee $1.5 million+ International Series events later this year.
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MENA Tour Commissioner David Spencer is delighted to present members with a concrete re-start plan in what is the first tangible outcome of the strategic partnership with the Asian Tour confirmed on December 23. A full merger of the MENA Tour and ADT is mooted for 2023.
“We are intensely proud of the relationship we have developed with the Asian Tour over the past few years and as the majority of our tournaments are held in the Middle East, this alliance seems natural as geographically the Middle East is part of Asia,” said Spencer.
“We will continue to work more closely with the Asian Tour as there is absolutely no doubt that our combined vision will provide players with the clearest and most defined development pathway in the world of professional golf outside of the USA.”
Spencer has also outlined details of the new 2022 MENA Tour season with an initial October-December schedule featuring a “strong focus in the MENA region” to be released in due course.
All current MENA Tour members will be automatically eligible to re-join the tour for the new 2022 season with the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) confirming traditional Q-School requirements have been waived this year due to the impacts of COVID-19.
“Obviously, the world is a different place since the pandemic began and we have had to try and figure out how to best adapt and pivot the MENA Tour,” Spencer said.
“At times we know this has been frustrating but I know you will also all be buoyed by the fact we have always been working to try and improve the tour we created back in 2011.
“It has not been easy but we are thankful to all of our current and past members. We are all looking forward to seeing you in Phuket and welcoming you to the ‘Beautiful Thailand Swing’.”