Rayhan Thomas and Matteo Manassero receive invites to Saudi International
Dubai-based teenager and 10 other invitees will join four of the world's top five players at the inaugural European Tour event
Dubai-based Indian teenager Rayhan Thomas has received one of the 11 sponsors' invitations for the inaugural Saudi International powered by SIBA.
Taking place from January 31 to February 3 at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club, the Saudi International will boast an impressive line-up that includes four of the world's top-five players - Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, and Bryson Dechambeau.
On Saturday, organisers announced the 11 recipients who received sponsors' invites, which includes 19-year-old Thomas, who recently claimed the 11th King Hamad Trophy in Bahrain in November. A 17-year-old Thomas also made waves in 2017 when he made the cut at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.
Also offered an invite is Italian four-time European Tour winner Matteo Manassero, who is joined by five other professional invitees as well as two Saudi nationals and three amateurs.
“I’m delighted to receive an invite to this ground-breaking event, it is always exciting to visit a new country and experience a new challenge, especially when it means playing against four of the world’s top five," Manassero, 25, said.
"This will be my first European Tour event of year and I am grateful to the Saudi Golf Federation for the opportunity.”
Min Woo Lee, the 20-year-old Australian, is another professional to receive an invite having recently joined the paid ranks following a successful amateur career that included winning the 2016 US Junior Amateur.
Lee competed at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA last week but missed the cut. In the long-term, he will be looking to follow in the footsteps of his LPGA star sister, Minjee Lee, who is ranked No 7 in the world.
“I can’t wait to get out to Royal Greens Golf & Country Club to start my preparation for next week," Lee said. "I felt like I left a lot of shots out there in Abu Dhabi in my professional debut but have learned from the experience and I’m raring to tee it up again.
"There’s so many world-class players in the field and I’m extremely lucky to be competing in the same arena as them so early in my career.”
Saudi nationals to receive invites are 32-year-old professional Othman Al Mulla, 24-year-old amateur AbdulRahman Al Mansour, and 19-year-old amateur Saud Al Sharee.
Updated: January 26, 2019 12:30 PM