'A historic moment in Asian golf' happens in Beijing today but a lot of Asia will be missing. The controversial OneAsia Tour launches its 'super series' with the US$2.2 million Volvo China Open as a tug of war intensifies for the bragging rights in the region. In one corner is the new OneAsia Tour - comprising the China Golf Association (CGA), the Korea Golf Association, the Korean Tour and the PGA Tour of Australasia - and in the other is the Asian Tour. The gloves are well and truly off as the chiefs of both tours trade insults, and players, rival tours and vested interests take sides. The national open of China has blossomed over the years with a co-sanctioning between the CGA, Asian Tour and European Tour. But the CGA's decision to join forces with OneAsia means only a handful of Asian Tour players will be among the 156-strong field, which tees off at Beijing CBD International Golf Club this morning. The small Asian Tour contingent, including former Asian number one Thongchai Jaidee, qualify through their European Tour rankings and therefore do not run foul of an Asian Tour boycott. The powerful Japan Tour had initially jumped ship to OneAsia but switched its allegiance back to the Asian Tour, believing the time was not right for such a 'super series'. OneAsia had planned to stage a minimum of six tournaments with prize money in excess of US$1 million in 2009 with between 12 and 15 events expected to be on the 2010 schedule. But it has already lost one event - the Pine Valley Beijing Open - after its sponsor became nervous. 'This is a historic moment for Asian golf,' say the founding partners of OneAsia, which has Australian PGA Tour commissioner Ben Sellenger as its figurehead. 'OneAsia is about the creation of a tournament schedule in Asia-Pacific that, ultimately, will provide our leading players with a full-time playing option in the region. It is our aim that our best players can legitimately choose to stay and play in Asia-Pacific - by the creation of a real alternative to the existing tours.' Asian Tour boss Kyi Hla Han has launched furious attacks on OneAsia over the past three months, calling the appearance of the new kids on the block 'unprofessional and unethical', 'a fiasco' and 'detrimental to the game in Asia'. The war of words intensified this week when Singapore-based World Sport Group (WSG), which runs the lower-tier Omega China Tour and bills itself as a consultant to OneAsia, said the Asian Tour had a 'sell-by' date and 'it's over' for Kyi Hla Han and his gang. 'Next year, when the real strength of [OneAsia] comes to the fore, I think we'll be seeing that the TV networks will want to support it for the economic reasons we have mentioned, as will the corporate partners,' said WSG boss Seamus O'Brien. 'The fact that it's the talk of the town means everybody knows it's reality. That is a good thing for the sport and the region.' Kyi Hla Han, who has helped build a successful tour run by the players, was forced into combative mode again. 'It is a false statement,' he said. 'He has no facts to back it up.' Kyi Hla Han said OneAsia had confused the market and hurt the players at a time when sponsors were considering their positions due to the economic meltdown. 'No doubt, 2009 will be a difficult year for all, but the Asian Tour has a strong and stable future,' he said. But who will be strongest of all remains to be seen.