Top golf stars confirmed for Saudi Arabia event


JEDDAH — The Saudi International, powered by SBIA, continues to bolster its field strength, announcing the confirmation of European Ryder Cup stars world No. 2 Justin Rose, 2017 Masters Champion Sergio Garcia, 2016 Open Champion Henrik Stenson and 17-time worldwide winner Ian Poulter in the inaugural event, which will take place in King Abdullah Economic City at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club, from Jan. 31 to Feb. 3.

The tournament, which features on the European Tour schedule for the first time, continues to showcase its intent to make a leading event on the golfing calendar, with a host of Ryder Cup stars set to compete for a prize money of US$3.5m.

At the heart of Team Europe, Rose, Garcia, Stenson and Poulter contributed no less than ten points toward Team Europe’s tally, with Sweden’s Henrik Stenson remaining unbeaten for the week and Spain’s Sergio Garcia becoming the all-time record Ryder Cup points scorer.

They are set to join the likes of previously confirmed players world No. 3 Dustin Johnson, 2018 Masters Champion Patrick Reed and victorious European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn.

The tournament field now boasts two of the world’s top three players, five Major champions and six players from the recent Ryder Cup at Le Golf National Paris.

Yasir Al-Rumayyan, Chairman of the Saudi Golf Federation commented: “Today’s announcement reiterates our intention to make the inaugural Saudi International one of the world golf’s strongest events. Our ambition from the start was to amass a box office field that would build immediate impact and allow us to showcase the ambition of Saudi Arabia and its bright future to the world, whilst laying solid foundations for future endeavors. With the visual impact of Royal Greens Golf & Country Club, the impressive host venue facilities and the beauty of the Red Sea Coastline, we have all the ingredients for a successful opening year and are confident all the players will leave holding Saudi Arabia and its golf prospects in the highest regard.”

“We are delighted to have this unique international golf tournament along with global renowned golfers hosted in KAEC. The international award-winning Royal Greens Golf and Country Club which is situated along the spectacular Red Sea coastline, enjoys state-of-the-art facilities that will provide players and spectators with a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” said Ahmed Linjawy, Group CEO of KAEC. “KAEC aims to make the city the most attractive tourism destination on the Red Sea in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 and to meet the growing demand on tourism and entertainment destinations in the Kingdom.”

Recently crowned FedEx Cup champion Justin Rose added: “I’ve heard a lot of positive things about Saudi Arabia and I’m delighted to see a new tournament added to the European Tour schedule. It’s an honor to be part of history and compete in the first professional golf tournament in the Kingdom.”

The 2016 Open Championship winner Henrik Stenson commented: “I’ve been on the European Tour since 2001 and I’ve been lucky enough to play golf all over the world but I’ve never been to Saudi Arabia. The course looks spectacular and I’ve heard a lot about the Kingdom’s plans to grow golf in the region and I’m excited to be a part of it. You always want to compete against the best players in the world when you tee it up and this provides me another opportunity to do that.”

The Royal Greens Golf & Country Club lies along the spectacular Red Sea coastline. It boasts a premier championship golf course, a state-of-the-art clubhouse, a world-class practice facility and stunning residential and recreational facilities. Aiming to attract many of the best players in the world, the Saudi International, powered by SBIA, will place special focus on families, community, charity and junior development as the Kingdom looks to develop its golfing pedigree.