Graeme McDowell reckons his taste of playing on the Asian Tour has convinced him it has a huge future after linking up with LIV Golf.
McDowell has been at Close House in England this week as part of the Asian Tour’s International Series following a $400million investment from LIV Golf which has helped finance 10 tournaments this year with $19m up for grabs across the 2023 schedule.
It follows close ties between LIV and the Far East operation which embraced players when they were initially banished from playing on the established PGA TOUR and DP World Tour for signing on with the breakaway Saudi-backed venture. The PGA Tour, DP World Tour and LIV’s paymasters in the Saudi Public Investment Fund have since announced a partnership to work together but McDowell is convinced players will still look to the Asian Tour to progress their careers.
McDowell , 44, assessed: “LIV is very much on the radar for these players. We are playing golf in a special time, and obviously, the Asian Tour members have that opportunity for these guys. It is like a golden ticket. It gives them something to play hard for.
“I feel fortunate to be out there. I’m really happy to watch the Asian Tour go from strength-to-strength, because this is just the beginning. I think we’re just starting to scratch the surface of where The International Series can go, where the Asian Tour can go, how big it can be, and how many great players can we get to the Asian Tour, and how many LIV Golf players will continue supporting these International Series events.
“PIF and LIV are very energetic about what they can do with the Asian Tour but it has to evolve. It has its schedule, sponsors and traditional venues, and it’s great to be able to have all these opportunities, but it takes time to integrate those into the schedule.
“As word gets round, guys are coming over to play and enjoying it. Speaking personally, for myself, I do want to supplement my schedule – 14 is not enough for me. If I’m not in the Majors, I need another six or eight other events, and the Asian Tour is my opportunity now.”
Close House is the fifth stop in the Asian Tour’s International Series which next week heads to Scotland…