Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Major champions Shane Lowry, Sergio Garcia, Phil Mickelson, Patrick Reed, Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson have confirmed their participation in the third edition of the Saudi International powered by Softbank Investment Advisers.
Joining the three Major winners already announced – world number one Dustin Johnson, 2020 US Open champion Bryson DeChambeau and defending champion Graeme McDowell – a total of nine Major champions will line up at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club from February 4-7, 2021, as Golf Saudi aims to deliver the strongest field on the Middle East swing with more stars to be announced in the coming weeks.
“This is another fantastic group of world-class names to announce and we are delighted to be able to play a part in helping illustrate that Saudi Arabia is open and able to host important sporting events,” said Majed Al Sorour, CEO of the Saudi Golf Federation and Golf Saudi, an Executive Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.
“I also want to take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank all of our partners and sponsors, as we work together towards the goal of making our tournament amongst the world’s best. We still have many more star names to announce and look forward to continuing to share our field additions in the coming weeks,” he added.
Reigning Open champion Lowry, 2013 US Open winner and Olympic gold medallist Rose, 2016 Open champion and Olympic silver medallist Stenson and 2017 Masters champion Garcia join 2010 US Open winner McDowell as they all look to start the year off strong and make strides towards securing their places in the 2021 European Ryder Cup team.
Irishman Lowry said: “I want to get off to a fast start in 2021 and try and secure my place in the team early if possible. I can’t imagine how stressful it will be if I am outside qualifying for the team as we get closer to the final qualifying events.
“The Saudi International powered by SoftBank Investment Advisers is going to be a huge week for us all in terms of the mega strength of field and world ranking points available with so many of the world’s top ranked playing, so a decent finish is going to make a major impact on our qualification chances.”
The American contingent will also have their eyes both on the trophy and a place on the US Ryder Cup team, with five-time Major champion Mickelson returning for a second consecutive year while 2018 Masters winner Reed returns for a third time – much to the delight of school children at The World Academy in King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) who he has visited on both of his previous visits.
Eight-time PGA Tour winner Reed said: “I am genuinely excited to return to see all the kids at The World Academy and find out how they are getting on with their golf. They have been so generous in their welcome and support in previous years and I look forward to seeing how everything is progressing as Golf Saudi works so hard to grow the game and provide the children with so many inspiring golf opportunities.”
The men’s event will be Saudi Arabia’s third professional golf tournament in the space of three months. The Kingdom is due to host back-to-back debut tournaments this month: the US$1million Aramco Saudi Ladies International presented by PIF (November 12-15) and the US$500,000 Saudi Ladies Team International (November 17-19).