Vijay Singh is singing the praises of Asian golf as he prepares for the $6.1-million CIMB Asia Pacific Classic in Malaysia today.
Singh claims that golf in Asia is “all they talk about” on the US PGA Tour as more and more players tune into the huge potential the region has to offer.
Now 48, the three time major winner and favourite son of Fiji says the explosion in the sports popularity as well as ever increasing financial support provides a huge opportunity for the game.
“It’s been going on for a couple of years now. India, China and Malaysia now. Coming over here, you can see the development,” he said.
“There are so many courses and so many tournaments now (in Asia). When we played here (a few years ago), we were trying to look for tournaments to play in. Nowadays, we can pick and choose what we want to play.
“That’s the big change. Golf in Asia is so much bigger now. You have courses wherever you go. The opportunities are there for the game to grow further.”
The CIMB Classic is co-sanctioned by both the PGA Tour and the Asian Tour and the apparent success it has had in attracting big name players means there should be more like it according to Singh.
“They need more events like this. There are big businesses that support big events like this,” he said.
“We need million-dollar-plus tournaments to make children want to take up golf and make a living out of it. If you get that, you’ll get the players.”
Singh, who is battling to regain the form he showed before years of injury, says he’s not sure that should extend all the way to the creation of a fifth major though.
“It’s a strange one as you can call any event a Major but there are only four Majors,” he said.
“You can have a major for the Asians in this part of the world and it’ll be a good thing, but I don’t think it’ll be a Major. It’ll be a huge event.”