European Tour

Johnson, Koepka sign up for controversial Saudi event

2019-10-11 15:48
Brooks Koepka
Brooks Koepka (Supplied)

Cape Town - World No 1 Brooks Koepka and No 3 Dustin Johnson have confirmed their participation in the European Tour's controversial Saudi International.

The event was introduced to the European Tour schedule for the first time last year, several months after journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul for speaking out against the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman.

As a result, a number of golf fans and pundits were strongly against the world's best golfers appearing in the tournament.

That hasn't stopped two of the world's three highest-ranked golfers from returning to Royal Greens Golf & Country Club next year, however.

"I'm excited to be returning to Saudi Arabia, after an enjoyable visit last year," said Koepka.

"The golf course is one of the best I've played in the region, with incredible scenery, including some breathtaking views of the Red Sea.

"The event is an opportunity to showcase the work being done to grow the game of golf in the Kingdom, which was evidenced by the enthusiastic fans last year. It is great to be involved with the initiative and I look forward to seeing the progress Golf Saudi has made in the past year."

Johnson, meanwhile, confirmed he would be returning to defend the title he won last year.

"I really enjoyed my trip to Saudi Arabia last year and my game certainly suited the layout at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club," Johnson said.

"I have very good memories from the week and look forward to defending my title.

"It's great to see how Golf Saudi has strengthened its commitment to create a world-class golf event and plans to grow golf in the region are in full swing. It’s an honour to be a part of it."

Top players like Johnson and Koepka are believed to be receiving around $1 million in appearance fees just for showing up, with plenty more up for grabs in prize money.

- TeamTalk


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