Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 7 December 2019

Defending champion Dustin Johnson and world No 1 Brooks Koepka confirmed for Saudi International

The American pair to go head-to-head at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club from January 30-February 2

Dustin Johnson won the inaugural Saudi International at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club. Courtesy Saudi International
Dustin Johnson won the inaugural Saudi International at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club. Courtesy Saudi International

Defending champion Dustin Johnson and world No 1 Brooks Koepka will again go head-to-head at the Saudi International in Saudi Arabia.

The American pair, two of the game’s most prominent players, were are confirmed for the second iteration of the event in King Abdullah Economic City at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club from January 30-February 2.

World No 3 Johnson triumphed earlier this year, securing his first regular European Tour title with a two-shot victory over closest challenger Haotong Li.

The Saudi International powered by Softbank Investment Advisers, which carries a $3.5 million (Dh12.85m) purse, completes the circuit’s opening Desert Swing, following the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA and the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.

“I really enjoyed my trip to Saudi Arabia last year and my game certainly suited the layout at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club,” said Johnson, the 2016 US Open champion and former world No 1.

“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.”

World No 1 and four-time major winner Brooks Koepka has confirmed his place at next year's Saudi International. Handout photo
World No 1 and four-time major winner Brooks Koepka has confirmed his place at next year's Saudi International. Handout photo

Koepka, meanwhile, finished in tied for 57th in February, but went on to enjoy incredible success again this season, claiming a fourth major crown by successfully defending the US PGA Championship in May.

“I’m excited to be returning to Saudi Arabia, after an enjoyable visit last year,” Koepka said. “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.”

Updated: October 8, 2019 12:06 PM

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