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PGA chief hints at Asian series

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NEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa. » The PGA Tour already has the West Coast Swing, the Florida Swing and now the Texas Swing. It might not be long before it has an Asian Swing after the FedEx Cup portion of the season is over.

In two years, the PGA Tour already has grown to two events there. It returns to Shanghai on Nov. 4-7 for a World Golf Championship, this time treating the HSBC Champions as an official victory if a tour member is holding the trophy. A week earlier is the inaugural Asia Pacific Classic in Malaysia, which is co-sanctioned with the Asian Tour and offers a $6 million purse.

And after that? Stay tuned.

"We’re looking at possibilities in Japan, Korea, China," PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said. "I’m not saying we will, but we may very well do a short series over there in the fall in the next two or three years. If we’re going to get serious about a presence in Asia, it would probably argue for a short series."

The Malaysia event was not a critical building block in such a series. It has a short field — the top 25 players available from the FedEx Cup standings to fill a 40-man field at The Mines Resort and Golf Club — and Finchem said the Asian Pacific Classic "predated what might developing into a serious strategy."

"If it continues, it will be part of it (an Asia series) in some fashion," he said.

Johnson helps out

Former Masters champion Zach Johnson returned to his roots to create a foundation designed to help children in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where the seven-time PGA Tour winner grew up.

The Zach Johnson Foundation wants to further develop a program in which children who have a parent in the judicial system are linked with a mentor. To support the foundation, he plans an annual pro-am tournament and said he hopes to raise $250,000 during the first year.

 

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