Shane Lowry and Patrick Reed join Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka at 2020 Saudi International
Henrik Stenson and Sergio Garcia also confirmed for the second edition of the European Tour event
Four more major winners, including reigning British Open champion Shane Lowry, have been confirmed for the second edition of the European Tour's Saudi International to take place next year.
Lowry will be joined at the Royal Greens Golf & Country Club in King Abdullah Economic City by former US Masters champions Patrick Reed and Sergio Garcia, as well as 2016 British Open winner Henrik Stenson.
Last month, defending champion Dustin Johnson and world No 1 Brooks Koepka confirmed their participation in the 2020 Saudi International, which is scheduled for January 30 to February 2.
Lowry, 32, will be making his debut at the tournament, but the Irishman has recently experienced success in the Middle East having won the 2019 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA before going on to clinch his first major title at Royal Portrush in July.
“I’ve heard a lot of the guys on Tour saying they really enjoyed the Saudi International tournament last year, so I’m looking forward to experiencing it for myself,” world No 19 Lowry said.
“The golf course sounds like it’s in great condition and by all accounts the hospitality around the event is first class. I’m looking forward to playing there for the first time and continuing the European Tour’s goal of growing the game of golf in new countries.”
Reed, 29, returns to the Saudi International having been impressed by his experience of this year's inaugural tournament, which was won by fellow American Johnson by two shots.
Reed, who won the 2018 Masters title, plays most of his golf on the PGA Tour but has been a regular on the European Tour since 2015. Last year, he finished runner-up in the Race to Dubai, and the American is happy to play a part in expanding golf in the Middle East.
“I loved playing in Saudi Arabia last year,” said world No 15 Reed. “The golf facilities at Royal Greens are world class and I was honoured to be part of history at the Saudi Golf Federation’s first professional event.
"I was also lucky enough to be invited to one of the local schools and it was really rewarding to meet the kids and talk to them about golf and what we were doing there that week.
"To see all those school kids come out to the course and watch us play on the weekend was an incredible experience. Golf Saudi is doing a fantastic job of growing the game and I hope I can help further their progress in the future.”
Meanwhile, the presence of Stenson and Garcia will add further star power to the Saudi International line-up, with players competing for a $3.5 million (Dh12.9m) prize fund.
Both players have enjoyed European Tour success in the region. Stenson won the 2007 Omega Dubai Desert Classic and the DP World Tour Championship twice, in 2014 and 2015.
Garcia is also a champion in Dubai having won the Desert Classic title in 2017 before ending his long wait for a major title two months later at the US Masters.
The 39-year-old Spaniard will hope his second trip to Saudi is better than his first after he was disqualified from the tournament for serious misconduct after damaging a number of greens.
The Saudi International made an impressive debut this year and was ranked the third highest non-major event of 2019 based on the strength of field rating.
"We have a vision for golf to help transform Saudi Arabia and become a premier golf destination," H.E. Yasir Al Rumayyan, Chairman of the Saudi Golf Federation and Golf Saudi, said.
"It is therefore extremely important for us drive the game forward both here and around the world by hosting the best players at the Saudi International.
"Last year we were extremely pleased with the support we received and it will be a pleasure to welcome these four world-renowned major champions to King Abdullah Economic City and Royal Greens Golf & Country Club for the second hosting of the tournament.”
Updated: November 11, 2019 04:07 PM