Reporter Ahn Gyeong-nam = The so-called ‘oil money’ with Middle Eastern capital is becoming a dinosaur in the golf world. ‘Stars’ are gathering as capital from Saudi Arabia is invested in the Asia Pro Golf Tour, which was treated as a periphery in the past.
The LIV Golf Series, which was launched as a new golf tour last year by the Saudi Arabian Wealth Fund (PIF), is changing the game by confronting the US Professional Golf (PGA) Tour. ), the market is growing.
The enormous capital from the Middle East immediately broke the structure of the PGA Tour and DP World Tour, which had dominated the golf world.
As the PIF announced a new tournament while investing heavily in the Asian Tour, the European Tour also changed its name to the DP World Tour and increased the size of the tournament.
DP World, a logistics company headquartered in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), also doubled the prize money of the tournament with oil money at the forefront. It seems that Saudi and UAE capitals are competitively attracting golf tournaments and growing the market.
Some criticize that it is ‘Sports Washing’ of oil capital in the Middle East to wash the image stained by dictatorship, suppression of the press, and human rights violations, but players and fans welcome that the golf world is growing with oil money. It’s a change worth making.
PIF Saudi International, the opening game of the 2023 Asian Tour held at the Royal Greens Golf & Country Club (par 70) in King Abdullah Economic City, Saudi Arabia, for four days from the 2nd, also brought in star players with oil money.
The tournament started as a DP World Tour in 2019, but with the launch of PIF’s LIV Golf last year, the tournament was changed to the Asian Tour after falling out with the DP World Tour.
The prize money has also increased. The total prize money is 5 million dollars (approximately 6.14 billion won). That’s more than three times the size.
With big prize money at stake, the participation of famous players also increased.
In particular, a large number of players who have left the PGA Tour and settled in LIV golf will participate.
World No. 4 Cameron Smith (Australia) chose the Asian Tour as his first event this year. Also, Phil Mickelson (USA) also participated in this tournament for the first time this year.
In addition, stars such as Patrick Reed, Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka (above USA), Sergio Garcia (Spain), and Lee Westwood (England) are lined up.
The Asian Tour is a tournament where LIV golfers can also accumulate world ranking points.
In addition, Cameron Young and Cameron Champ (above USA), who have been permitted by the PGA Tour, will also participate.
Korean players also smelled oil and headed to Saudi Arabia.
A total of 8 people who participated in the Korean Professional Golf (PGA) Korean Tour and Asian Tour, Gyeongjun Moon, Sanghyun Park, Taehee Lee, Youngsoo Kim, Lee Geun Jang, Bio Kim, Taehun Ok, and Minkyu Kim threw their tickets.
The lure of oil money is also affecting women’s golf.
World No. 1 Lydia Ko (New Zealand), Rex Thompson (USA), Jeon In-ji, and Daniel Kang (USA) will participate in the LET Aramco Saudi Ladies International, which will be held at the same location for four days from the 16th. . 스포츠토토
Only 13 winners of major tournaments on the LPGA tour will participate.
Unlike the PGA Tour, the LPGA Tour is not hostile to oil money, but the fact that there is no LPGA Tour event held at the same time has attracted famous players to visit.
The total prize money reached 5 million dollars, which is equivalent to major LPGA tour tournaments.
Considering that the total prize money of general LPGA tour tournaments is around 2 million dollars, the view of the golf world is that it is a natural flow for female golfers to participate in Saudi tournaments.
There are 15 Korean players participating per day, including Jeon In-ji, Kim Hyo-joo, Lee Jeong-eun 6, Kim A-lim, Lee So-mi, Lim Hee-jeong, Yu Hae-ran, and Song Ga-eun.