Brooks Koepka added to star-studded field for inaugural Saudi International
Four of the world's top five players will compete at the Royal Greens Golf & Country Club tournament, starting January 31
World No 2 Brooks Koepka has added his name to the inaugural Saudi International powered by SBIA line-up, meaning the top three players in the world will all be competing at the European Tour event later this month.
Taking place from January 31 to February 3 at the Royal Greens Golf & Country Club in the King Abdullah Economic City, the Saudi International had previously confirmed world No 1 Justin Rose and third-ranked Dustin Johnson would take part.
Now Koepka, named the 2018 PGA Tour Player of Year after winning two majors - the US Open and US PGA Championship - has provided even more stardust to the tournament.
Fellow American and fifth-ranked Bryson Dechambeau has also confirmed his place to ensure four of the world's top five players will take part.
“I started my professional career in Europe and the diversity of tournaments and experiences I enjoyed has undoubtedly helped broaden my game and helped me to perform on the international stage," said 28-year-old Koepka, who will also be competing at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA this week.
"It’s always exciting to line up against the best players in the world and I am looking forward to experiencing the culture of a new country.”
Former world No 1 and four-time major winner Ernie Els is another player to be added to the field, and the 49-year-old South African is delighted to contribute to Saudi Arabia's ambitions to expand golf in the country.
“I’ve played golf all over the world and was delighted to be invited to play Royal Greens earlier this year," he said. "The place is spectacular and it will be a great venue for the event.
"I’ve spent some time getting to know a little bit about the Kingdom’s plans to accelerate golf development in the country and I’m privileged to be a part of it.”
Also confirmed is another former world No 1, Lee Westwood, who like Johnson and Koepka will first compete in Abu Dhabi before heading to the Saudi International.
The Englishman's Ryder Cup teammate, Norway's Thorbjorn Olesen, completes the line-up that includes reigning US Masters champion Patrick Reed, former British Open winner Henrik Stenson, and Ryder Cup star Ian Poulter.
Former Masters champion Sergio Garcia and victorious Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn will also participate at the Saudi International.
“Our intention from the outset was to secure one of the strongest fields in world golf to compete in our inaugural event," Yasir Al Rumayyan, chairman of the Saudi Golf Federation, said.
"Today’s announcement is the final step and completes a headline roster befitting a championship of this significance and will attract major national and international interest.”
Updated: January 12, 2019 03:16 PM