Korean Showpiece Banks on Japan Inclusion

Cho Minn Thant (far left), Isao Aoki (far right) and Korean Tour officials at the MOU signing ceremony.

Seoul, Korea: The 35th edition of the Shinhan Donghae Open will become the first event in Korea to be tri-sanctioned by the Asian Tour, Korean PGA and Japan Golf Tour Organisation (JGTO).

Co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and KPGA since 2016, the event will welcome the JGTO as its newest sanctioning partner when it returns to the Bear’s Best Cheongna Golf Club from September 19-22.

The latest tri-sanctioning agreement is part of the Shinhan Financial Group’s ‘2020 SMART Project’, where its aim is to broaden the group’s global reach and position Shinhan as one of the leading financial groups in Asia.

Additionally, the Shinhan Financial Group aims to solidify its ‘One Shinhan Brand’ in Japan while making inroads into future growth markets in Southeast Asia.

“Playing in international Tours is no longer a choice, but a must for Korean pro golfers. The Group shall co-operate with the three Tours to ensure that Shinhan Donghae Open is a truly international tournament,” said Cho Yong-byoung, Chairman, Shinhan Financial Group.

“The Shinhan Donghae Open is a storied event within the golfing landscape of Asia. We have seen many great champions from all over the world victorious over the years and we welcome the participation of our counterparts from the Japan Tour,” said Cho Minn Thant, Chief Operating Officer of the Asian Tour, a Full Business Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.

“The Asian Tour, alongside the KPGA, has been very proud to be involved as co-sanctioning partners for the past three editions which has elevated the event to the international stage. With the inclusion of the JGTO, the tournament now reaches the next level.”

Yang Hwee-boo, Chairman of the KPGA, said: “We have further globalised the KPGA, thanks to the three Tours’ close partnership. I hope the Shinhan Donghae Open fuels Korean players to launch their international careers.”

JGTO Chairman Isao Aoki said: “This kind of co-operation has never been attempted until today so this MOU is even more meaningful. With the JGTO co-sanctioning the Shinhan Donghae Open this year, we can shorten the distance between the two countries through the spirit of the game.”

Korean Park Sang-hyun, who finished second on the Asian Tour Order of Merit in 2018, claimed a wire-to-wire victory at last year’s Shinhan Donghae Open. Other recent Shinhan Donghae Open winners have been Indian Gaganjeet Bhullar (2016) and Canada’s Richard T. Lee (2017).

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