Lydia Ko To Play $5m Aramco Saudi Ladies International

The World No.1 will return to the scene of her dominant triumph in 2021

Lydia Ko with the trophy after winning the 2021 Aramco Saudi Ladies International
(Image credit: Ladies European Tour)

World No.1 Lydia Ko has been confirmed as one of the players taking part in next month’s Aramco Saudi Ladies International - the third tournament in the LET season, which will take place at the country’s Royal Greens Golf & Country Club.

The news comes two months after it was announced that the tournament would have equal prize money to the men’s PIF Saudi International of $5m. That is a five-fold increase on last year’s purse and the biggest prize in LET history outside the Majors. Given the record-breaking monetary incentive, it was expected that some of the world’s biggest players would participate, and the announcement of Ko is as impressive as it gets.

The New Zealander is enjoying her third spell as the best player in the world after reaching the World No.1 position for the first time since 2017 following an excellent 2022 that included three LPGA Tour victories among nine top-five finishes. That followed an incredible start to her career when she first reached the summit in 2015, aged just 17. She is also a two-time Major winner.

Ko, who won the tournament in 2021, expressed her delight at returning. She said: “I remember my time at the Aramco Saudi Ladies International very fondly, having won the title here a few years back. I’m looking forward to returning to Saudi Arabia in a few months to build on my 2022.”

The 25-year-old also explained that the eye-catching prize money on offer demonstrates that women’s golf is moving in the right direction. She added: “I’m thrilled to see golf is moving in the direction towards equal prize money – it is something I believe all the ladies on tour have been striving hard for. I’m grateful to those backing the women’s game who have believed in us and are committed to taking the sport to the next level. We’re moving in the right direction, and I believe it’s only going to get much better from here for women’s golf.”

Deputy Chairman and CEO of Golf Saudi Majed Al Sorour said: “We are thrilled Lydia, the world’s best golfer, will join us to compete in the Aramco Saudi Ladies International presented by PIF. We look forward to welcoming them once again to be a part of our iconic event at our world-renowned Royal Greens Golf & Country Club in the Kingdom. 

Ko will not be the only big-name player at the tournament, with more high-profile players to be announced shortly. Meanwhile, the tournament is one of two visits to the Kingdom scheduled for the LET in 2023, with one of five Aramco Team Series events taking place in Saudi Arabia later in the year.

Ko will be teeing it up in the Aramco Saudi Ladies International on 16 February as part of a 120-player field. She will hope to replicate her success two years ago when she dominated to claim a five-shot victory.

Mike Hall

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.