A wait to see if Asian Tour will help

Singapore's top golfer Mardan Mamat had already booked his flight and secured a visa for South Korea, in anticipation of competing in The Championship there this year.

This was before the Asian Tour and the European Tour, which co-sanction the tournament, announced last month that the competition would be relocated to Singapore due to "staging issues".

Now, the 46-year-old is hoping that the Asian Tour would pick up the extra cost he incurred, especially after the European Tour announced they would do so for their golfers.

Approached by The New Paper yesterday at the Laguna National, Mardan, who carded a one-under 71 in the first round of the tournament at Laguna yesterday, said: "I've already spoken to the Asian Tour last week and they said they would get back to me.

"The decision to move the tournament was made at the last minute and it was a nice gesture on the European Tour's part to help their golfers out."

India's SSP Chowrasia is in a similar situation as Mardan.

He said: "These situations happen sometimes and we golfers totally understand it, and I am okay about it.

"It (the extra cost incurred) is just a small amount, and it was great that the tournament was relocated here because it would have been easy to cancel it, instead."

India's Jeev Milkha Singh - who is a member of both the European and Asian Tours - was also affected by the last-minute change.

He confirmed the European Tour had sent out a directive to its members on how to reclaim expenses for the extra costs incurred for the late switch.