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LIV Golf Investments, the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund-backed company headed by Greg Norman, along with the Asian Tour has unveiled details of 'The International Series' for 2022/23, which features 10 tournaments across Asia and Europe.
The initial idea was first announced in November, with the investment said to be $200m - and that number has now risen to $300m. The International Series will debut with the $1.5m 'The International Series Thailand' at Black Mountain Golf Club in Hua Hin.
The International Series, which will form part of the Asian Tour schedule, will then head to Centurion Club in Hertfordshire in June, where a $2m prize fund is up for grabs, before further stops in Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia, the Middle East and then China, Singapore and Hong Kong.
The huge $300m investment from LIV Golf Investments, whose majority shareholder is the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund [PIF], will see The International Series form part of the Asian Tour schedule over the next decade. The newly-formed LIV Investments' purpose is said to 'holistically improve the health of professional golf on a truly global scale to help unlock the sports’ untapped worldwide potential.'
“We are on the threshold of a new era for Asian golf,” said Cho Minn Thant, Commissioner and CEO, Asian Tour. “The International Series is a new upper-tier of elite events, the likes of which the region has not seen before, that will mark the start of a phenomenal period of growth for the Asian Tour. It also signifies the beginning of our relationship with our new strategic partner LIV Golf Investments and its CEO Greg Norman.
“Importantly, The International Series will add to the Asian Tour’s backbone of established events to comprise a 25-event season, expected to represent a record-breaking combined prize-fund. Each of the 10 events will be broadcast live across the globe, with plans to attract an international field of headline talent.”
“We are setting the Asian Tour up as a powerful new force on the world golf stage,” said Greg Norman. “In my 40 years as a professional golfer, I’ve seen many parts of the world that have benefitted tremendously from golf and its growth and development. We now have the opportunity to do that in the Asia Pacific region and the Middle East with this incredible investment platform. Everyone benefits – professional players, amateurs, grassroots golf, fans, economies, communities, stakeholders. I’ve never been so optimistic about the future of the sport.”
The announcement comes on the eve of the Asian Tour’s new season and the controversial $5million Saudi International at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club. Previously a European Tour (now DP World Tour) event, the tournament makes its Asian Tour debut with the strongest field in the Tour's history. The Saudi International field features six of the top-20 players in the world are competing – including two-time winner Dustin Johnson, Bryson Dechambeau, Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia, Tommy Fleetwood, Tony Finau, Lee Westwood, Henrik Stenson, Tyrrell Hatton and many other big names.
More details of The International Series events, and other Asian Tour tournaments this year, will be made available in due course. This announcement only adds to ongoing rumours that LIV Golf Investments are pioneering a Saudi-backed Super League that is headhunting the worlds’ top players. A source has revealed the new league is linked to the recent $300 partnership with the Asian Tour, and that Greg Norman is set to be its Chairman.
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Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news, features, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 2-5. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!
Elliott is currently playing:
Driver: Titleist TSR4
3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max
Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM Max
Irons: Mizuno MP5 4-PW
Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58
Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5
Ball: TaylorMade TP5x
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