Jeddah, Saudi Arabia: European Ryder Cup stars Rafa Cabrera-Bello, Paul Casey, Tommy Fleetwood, Sergio Garcia, Tyrrell Hatton, Ian Poulter, Justin Rose, Henrik Stenson and Lee Westwood will join defending champion Graeme McDowell in looking to get their campaign to qualify for the 2021 European Ryder Cup team off to a strong start at the 2021 Saudi International powered by Softbank Investment Advisers.
With world number one and 2020 Masters champion Dustin Johnson and 2020 US Open champion Bryson DeChambeau already confirmed, along with reigning Open champion Shane Lowry and American stars Phil Mickelson and Patrick Reed, huge ranking points will be on offer for Europe’s leading golfers as they look to get their 2021 Ryder Cup qualifying efforts off to a fast start at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club from February 4-7.
With the Saudi International powered by Softbank Investment Advisers sure to be one of the strongest events on the 2021 European Tour schedule, Golf Saudi is looking to build on the momentum resulting from hosting two successful weeks of Ladies European Tour events this month as interest and participation in golf continues to grow in the Kingdom.
“This announcement marks yet another amazing group of golf stars joining our 2021 field and the excitement of all the players to kick-off afresh in 2021, in Saudi Arabia is heartening to hear,” said Majed Al Sorour, CEO of the Saudi Golf Federation and Golf Saudi, an Executive Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.
“The line-up for the tournament is looking strong and with more players still to be announced in the coming weeks – and on the back of two excellent Ladies European Tour events this month – we are very much looking forward to the third edition of our tournament. We believe it will be the strongest instalment to date and will serve as a fabulous illustration that Saudi Arabia is open for business.”
Fleetwood, a six-time winner on the European Tour and standout player in Europe’s Ryder Cup victory in Paris in 2018, is making his debut this year in the Saudi International. He said: “From all I’ve heard from the lads who played there the last couple of years, the Saudi International is already established as one of the leading events on the European Tour, both in terms of set up and facilities as well as quality of the field.”
Poulter, who played for the first time in the 2020 edition, added: “I really enjoyed the tournament at the beginning of this year and am psyched to be returning next February. The course sets up for my game rather nicely so I was pretty frustrated to only finish in the top 20 and will be aiming to finish rather higher up the leaderboard this time! It’s a fantastic championship course with some amazing vistas and I also really like the fact we get to play a part in introducing golf to a whole new audience in a new region.
“With Ryder Cup qualification on the line, I am obviously looking to get my campaign off to a fast start and getting a decent finish or winning the Saudi International against such a stellar field would be massive. It’s been a really weird year with Covid so we are all looking forward to a fresh start in 2021 and I am hoping it is also a strong start as I keep my eyes firmly focused on qualifying for the European team at Whistling Straits.”