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Panasonic steps up Asian Tour backing with support of new series

Japanese electronics company Panasonic has enhanced its association with golf’s Asian Tour by becoming the title sponsor of a new series of events.

The Panasonic Swing will comprise five events – the 2017 Thailand Open, 2017 Panasonic Open India, one Asian Tour-sanctioned tournament in Malaysia and Indonesia in 2017 and the 2018 Panasonic Open Japan.

The series begins tomorrow (Thursday) with the Thailand Open at the Thai Country Club in Bangkok.

Panasonic, which has title sponsored the Panasonic Open India since 2011 and the Panasonic Open Japan since its launch in 2016, also becomes the Asian Tour’s official consumer electronics partner as part of the agreement, terms of which were undisclosed.

The Panasonic Swing ranking system will be based on an aggregate points ranking earned by players at the five tournaments, with the three highest-ranked golfers to earn $70,000 (€63,000), $50,000 and $30,000, respectively through a bonus pool reward scheme.

The top local finisher at events in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and India will qualify for the series finale in Japan. The winner of the inaugural Panasonic Swing will also gain exemption into one designated European Tour event in 2018.

Asian Tour chief executive Josh Burack said: “The creation of the Panasonic Swing will add further excitement for our players as well as provide a greater earning opportunity through the bonus pool which is created across these five tournaments.

“Through the Panasonic Swing, we are also delighted to announce the top local player in each of the four legs in Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and India will gain exemptions into the finale in Japan. This is a wonderful incentive and motivation for our domestic golfers to fight for the opportunity to compete in the Panasonic Open Japan every April, which will be the Swing finale.”