World-renowned male and female golf stars are heading to Saudi Arabia in large numbers this month. This is because there are golf tournaments that cost huge amounts of money.
For four days from the 2nd, the PIF Saudi International, the opening game of the Asian Tour, will be held at the Royal Greens Golf and Country Club (par 72) in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The Korean Professional Golf Association (KPGA) Korean Tour signboard players, which are yet to open the season, will participate in this tournament. In the 2022 season, eight players, including Asian Tour Rookie of the Year Kim Bio, Kim Young-soo, Ok Tae-hoon, Park Sang-hyun, Kim Min-gyu, Jang Lee-geun, Lee Tae-hee, and Moon Kyung-jun, were named on the list of players.
Sponsored by the Saudi National Wealth Fund (PIF), the total prize money of this tournament is 5 million dollars (approximately 6.16 billion won). It is more than four times the Genesis Championship (1.5 billion won), which had the most prize money on the Korean Tour last year. In addition to the prize money, the world’s top players who receive a huge invitation fee will also participate. Eight of the top 50 players in the world ranking will participate in this event. Cameron Smith (Australia), Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Brooks Koepka, Bryson Dishambeau, Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson (above USA), Sergio Garcia (Spain), Henrik Stenson (Sweden), Graeme McDowell (Northern Ireland) There are only 12 former major tournament champions. Kevin Na (USA), a Korean-American who transferred to the ‘LIV Golf Invitational Series’ led by Saudi capital, will also participate.
For four days from the 16th of this month, the European Women’s Tour (LET) Saudi Aramco Saudi Ladies International will be held at the same place. Saudi Aramco, the state-owned oil company of Saudi Arabia, sponsors the tournament, and the total prize money is 5 million dollars.안전놀이터
The Organizing Committee of the tournament announced on the 31st that 13 major championship winners will participate in this event. Korean golfers playing on the LPGA tour were included, including Jeon In-ji, who has three major tournament trophies, including last year’s KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, as well as Kim Hyo-joo, Ji Eun-hee, Lee Jeong-eun, and Kim A-rim. World No. 1 Lydia Ko (New Zealand), Georgia Hall (England), Lexi Thompson, Daniel Kang (above USA), Hannah Green (Australia), Ashley Buhai (South Africa), Anna Nordqvist (Sweden), Patita Watanakit (Thailand) and others will also participate. This tournament is the third LET tournament this season, but it actually feels like the opening game of women’s golf as many top-ranked players who were absent from the Hilton Grand Vacation tournament, the opening game of the LPGA tour last month, participated.
Until last year, the total prize money of this tournament was only 1 million dollars (approximately 1.23 billion won). However, starting this year, the prize money has been raised fivefold. Some criticize it as ‘sports washing’. It is said that Saudi Arabia is using golf to wash away negative images such as human rights violations and discrimination against women. However, the voices of the players who are well treated and aim for a lot of prize money are different. Thompson, ranked 7th in the world, said, “Women players have long wanted to receive the same prize money as men. The increase in prize money for this tournament will be a great boost to growing female golfers.” The prize money for winning this competition is 750,000 dollars (approximately 925 million won).