Four Australian Golfers Fined & Suspended for Playing in China Open

Four Australian members of the Asian Tour have been informed they will be fined and suspended after playing on the controversial and rival OneAsia Tour at the Volvo China Open. The players - Jason King, Chris Gaunt, Brad Kennedy and Ashley Hall - are understood to be facing the maximum fine of $5,000 and suspension from the Asian Tour for the rest of the season.

Insiders said that letters were sent to them on Monday with the four men having seven days to appeal.

The players were penalized for opting to play in the China Open without getting an official release from the Asian Tour. All other Asian Tour players, except those who qualified through the European Tour, boycotted the event amid an ongoing row over OneAsia's emergence.

The new Tour, formed by the China Golf Association, Korea Professional Golf Tour, Korea Golf Association and the PGA Tour of Australia aims to create a new force in world golf. But it is opposed by the Asian Tour which has accused it of stealing its tournaments, including the China Open which it used to co-sanction.

"Players have made their decision to play in the Volvo China Open knowing the consequences which may face them," Asian Tour chief Kyi Hla Han said before the tournament.

The insider said: "We are strictly following the procedures stated in the members' handbook. They have seven days to appeal."

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