OneAsia golf tour boss quits abruptly
25 Nov 2011 - 08:16:40
OneAsia chief executive Ben Sellenger on Friday abruptly announced his resignation, two years after setting up the ambitious circuit that sent shockwaves through Asian golf.
Sellenger's decision, which pre-empted any official statement from OneAsia, will inevitably provoke speculation about the health of the organisation, which was formed in 2009 and rivals the more established Asian Tour.
The Australian simply said he wanted to "do something new", without giving details. He said he had already closed OneAsia's Singapore headquarters ahead of the company's move to Hong Kong.
He denied the relocation prompted his decision. He said OneAsia had not appointed his replacement but added it was "well-equipped... to take the ball and run with it".
"At this stage I think they're still in transition," Sellenger told AFP. "It's been a few months I'm looking at this decision. I notified the board I wanted to move on and do something new.
"I think they're still repositioning and looking for someone who can fill the void."
Sellenger admitted that he considered OneAsia "my baby" after setting up the circuit, which has drawn fierce objections from the Asian Tour.
"I do consider it to be my baby a little bit. Moving on is always difficult but I just think it's about time to move on," he said.
Officials at OneAsia preferred not to comment when contacted by AFP.
OneAsia, which aims to provide high-end tournaments with a minimum of $1 million dollars in prize money, started with five events in 2009 and has grown to 12 this year.
It was formed from a deal between the Australian, Chinese and Korean tours, prompting accusations of poaching from the bigger Asian Tour, which was formed in 2004 and lists 36 events on its latest schedule.
OneAsia tournaments have also been criticised for not offering ranking points. Last month, four golfers who were effectively banned by the Asian Tour for playing OneAsia events took their case to Singapore High Court.