• China and the Asian Tour will be holding four new golf tournaments for this season.

China and the Asian Tour will be holding four new golf tournaments for this season. (Photo : Getty Images)

With the new partnership between China and Golf's Asian Tour, the Asian Tour Golf Tournament will finally be returning to the world's most populous country after almost a decade, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported.

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After being shut off by China in 2008, the tour that covers dozens of tournaments in the continent is expected to organize four new events for this season alone.

According to the agreement, both Asian Tour and China Tour members are eligible to play in the tournaments, which offer prizes worth 2.2 million yuan. Apart from the cash prize, winners will be receiving Asian Tour cards.

Meanwhile, "the top five non-exempt players on China's order of merit will gain access to the Asian Tour's qualifying school," AFP wrote.

For Asian Tour CEO Josh Burack, the renewed cooperation between them and China is a game-changer.

"Re-starting cooperation is a game-changer for the Asian Tour and CGA (China Golf Association) as the creation of new tournaments will greatly enhance playing opportunities for our players and for the many talented players coming up from China," Burack said in a statement.

The Asian Tour executive added that the new tournaments this season are considered platforms for Asian Tour members to play and return to China.

"This is a terrific new chapter for Asian golf," Burack further assured.

From 1995 until 2008, Asia Tour has organized co-sanctioned tournaments in China. The tradition came to a halt when the country, alongside Australia, Japan and South Korea, joined the competing tour, OneAsia, which started in 2009.

Despite the tour's absence in China, it has remained a sanctioning partner of Shanghai's annual WGC-HSBC Champions.

In the world of sports, China has been touted as a vital, new market for golf. The Asian giant has produced players who have won titles on the European Tour including Zhang Lianwei, Wu Ashun, Liang Wengchong and Li Haotong.

Apart from Asian Tour, America's PGA Tour has also maintained a partnership with China, offering Chinese golfers means to enter its second-tier circuit.