Incheon lands PGA Champions Tour event
The Golden Bear rolled into Korea to help announce the first-ever PGA Champions Tour event in the country, and in all of Asia for that matter.
Incheon will host a seniors competition in the latter half of next year and annually through 2012, golf legend Jack Nicklaus revealed yesterday during a press conference at the Grand Hyatt in central Seoul.
The event will be held at the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea, which is currently being built in Incheon's Songdo International Business District.
The 72-par golf course measures 7,257 yards and is approximately 60 percent complete. It's expected to open in time for the event.
Nicklaus - who designed the golf club bearing his name - said plans to bring a Champions Tour event to Korea have been in the works for years.
"The golf course awaiting the Champions Tour players is totally created [from the ground up], but one we believe will be world class,'' Nicklaus said. "The project is right off Incheon Bay, so the golf course provides bay and harbor views.''
PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem said in an Associated Press story that the Korean market is important to the organization.
"We welcome this addition to the Champions Tour schedule and the opportunity to further elevate golf in South Korea with an event of this magnitude," Finchem said.
The 54-hole stroke play event has a $3 million purse and is offering a prize of $450,000 to the winner. Event sponsor IMG is working with PGA Tour officials to include Korean and Asian players in the event.
The Champions Tour includes recognizable names such as Greg Norman, Mark O'Meara and Nick Price, among others, and is offering total prize money of $48.9 million for the 2009 season.