Diageo has dropped its annual Johnnie Walker Classic golf tournament in Asia, but has denied reports that the move is linked with the firm's cost savings plan in Scotland.

A spokesperson for Diageo confirmed to just-drinks today (16 July) that the Johnnie Walker Classic, which has run every year since 1990, will not take place in 2010.

A report in Scotland's Daily Record this week cited a source as saying that Diageo does not want to be seen spending "lavish amounts" on the competition, in light of the firm's plan to cut more than 10% of its workforce in Scotland, largely to be achieved by closing the Johnnie Walker packaging plant in Kilmarnock.

Total prize money for the 2009 Johnnie Walker Classic, held in Australia in February, was around GBP1.25m (US$2m).

A spokesperson for Diageo said today that the move to end the Classic "is not related to Scotland".

The company said: "We have re-evaluated our golf promotion programme in South East Asia and have decided to switch away from the pan-Asian approach of the Johnnie Walker Classic to a more focused approach in the future."

Instead of the Classic, Diageo will sponsor golf events in Australia, South Korea and Cambodia next year.

It added that it will continue with "worldwide support of the game at all levels", including the Johnnie Walker Championship in Scotland and the annual Rhyder Cup between Europe and the US.