Column | Malkeet Kaur

Published on August 20, 2020

PGM Tour Resumes Play in September with 10 Events

PGM Tour Chairman Tun Ahmad Sarji Abdul Hamid with Charlie Tingey, Asian Tour’s Director of Partnerships

The Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) Tour is scheduled to resume play in September with ten events on the calendar. They include three PGM ADT events, one PGM Closed event, four Ladies events and two qualifying schools. The total prizemoney for the ten events totals to RM930,000 with RM810,000 for the PGM Tour and RM120,000 for the Ladies Tour.


Chairman of the PGM Tour Tun Ahmad Sarji Abdul Hamid announced the schedule together with the launch of the PGM Tour Yearbook 2019 and the winners of the PGM Tour Order of Merit winners.


According to Tun Sarji, the Tour was not able to commence for the last eight months due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the lack of the necessary license to hold golf tournaments. But now, he announced at the press conference, PGM has obtained the license from the Sport Commissioner.


However, it was earlier reported that the 2020 season of the Tour was halted due to the PGM refusing to pay the 3% sanction fee imposed by the PGA of Malaysia (PGAM), which led to the Tour not being able to obtain the required licence from the Sport Commissioner. And before the issues could be resolved, COVID-19 happened.


When asked about the demand for the 3% sanction fee and if matters with the PGAM had been resolved, Tun Sarji said, “PGM has no issues with anybody. I don’t know about any sanction fee. As far as the PGM is concerned, Nik Mustapha (the General Manager of the PGM Tour) submitted the documents to apply for the license and being a law-abiding organisation, once the application has been lodged at the Ministry, we have to respect the confidentiality of matters. We could not discuss matters with anyone. We waited and have finally got the license. We do not have any influence over anybody.”

PGT Tour Chairman Tun Ahmad Sarji and Charlie Tingey, Asian Tour’s Director of Partnerships launching the PGM Tour calendar

He clarified that the license issued is only for 2020 and that the PGM will have to apply for a fresh one for 2021. “As far as the PGM is concerned, the Sport Commissioner has been hugely cooperative with us seeing that they have issued us the license. If for any other reason we are not issued the license in 2021, we will not be able to have the Tour. If we satisfy their requirements on all accounts, then, of course, the license will be issued. But if there is any intervening factor that warrants them not to issue it, we’ll take it. The final authority is the Sport Commissioner,” he said.


On the new calendar, Tun Sarji revealed that despite having announced the calendar, the Tour still faces the possibility of the three PGM ADT events being converted to closed events. This is because the country borders may still remain closed by the time the first event takes place from Sept 23-26, 2020. The PGM has reserved 64 spots for the Asian Tour members. Also, players coming from overseas will face quarantine and testing issues. If the event does not get the minimum number of Asian Tour players, the competition will still take place, but it will no longer be recognised as an ADT event. The foreign players who would have made it to the event would be there as invitees. They will not gain any world ranking points. It will be regarded as a home event, and the prizemoney will be lower.  Charlie Tingey, Asian Tour’s Director of Partnerships, said that the tour members are aware of the playing opportunities in Malaysia.  “The players are grateful to PGM for giving them a playing opportunity. It’s not just about the money which in this current COVID-19 era it’s a big challenge for everyone not just our industry, but also there is that matter of the world ranking points and the Olympics and hope that it goes ahead next year. The value of this is on multiple levels.”


Tun Sarji also announced that all the mandatory safety protocols would be followed. Prior to arrival at the tournament venue, players will have to complete a health assessment questionnaire. They will be expected to adhere to the SOPs put in place by the Tour as well as the clubs, i.e. usage of face masks, body temperatures screening, sanitisation, physical distancing, self-declaration and check-in via MySejahtera. No spectators will be allowed. Parents of players will be allowed entry if the club permits it. Tun Sarji emphasised that once the players are in the club, the club will take full control of the COVID-19 safety protocols and that the PGM will not bear any COVID-19 testing costs.


On new events for 2021 and sponsors, Tun Sarji said that they PGM would welcome new sponsors. “The pandemic has affected many companies, and sponsorship is crucial for us. We have to accept the new normal; thus, we are willing to accept lower sponsorship. We cannot be expecting companies contribute to the sums that they have in the past. We can only implement our programme in accordance to affordability. If the money is forthcoming, we will have more events, including ADTs. If the money is not enough, we will have to skip ADTs and have closed tournaments.”


Tun Sarji also announced the winners of the 2019 Order of Merit. Amir Nazrin secured the top honour as well as the Player of the Year award and was awarded RM10,000. Ainil Johani Bakar collected her second Order of Merit title, her first being in 2017, and took home RM5,000.


PGM Tour Chairman Tun Ahmad Sarji with Order of Merit winner Amir Nazrin (left) and Ainil Johani Bakar (right)


There will be no Order of Merit winners for 2020. Instead, PGM will combine the earnings of 2020 with the earnings of the calendar year 2021 to have an OOM winner.


PGM Tour Calendar 2020






Malkeet Kaur

Malkeet Kaur became a golf writer by chance in 1987, and since then, she has not stopped writing about the Royal and Ancient sport. She has written for several golf magazines rising through the ranks from junior journalist to editor, later consultant editor and media consultant for various projects. She has also written extensively on a wide range of subjects for newspapers, magazines, and websites. Also, she leads and edits business journals and provides consultation for multiple clients in the corporate sector. In between writing about golf and running her own publishing business, she dabbles in creative writing.