The Saudi Arabian golf revolution is in full swing.
The Greg Norman-fronted expansion of the Asian Tour has confirmed plans for a new International Series comprising a minimum of ten money-spinning events to take place each year for at least the next decade.
One of those will be staged from June 9-12 at the Centurion Club in England - just a short drive from the DP World Tour's Wentworth headquarters - with others taking place in Thailand, Korea, the Middle East, China and Hong Kong.
Each of the tournaments will feature purses ranging from $1.5m to $2m, part of a £300m investment into the Asian Tour by LIV Golf Investments - one of the biggest investments in the history of professional golf.
The first event, at Black Mountain Golf Club in Hua Hin, Thailand, will take place from March 3-6, with a prize purse of $1.5m. It will be going up against the Arnold Palmer Invitational and Puerto Rico Open on the PGA Tour, and the Kenya Open on the DP World Tour.
The plans were unveiled by Norman ahead of this week’s Saudi International, which takes place at the Royal Greens Golf & Country Club this week.
“We are setting the Asian Tour up as a powerful new force on the world golf stage,” said the former world No.1 and two-time major champion. “In my 40 years as a professional golfer, I’ve seen many parts of the world that have benefitted tremendously from golf and its growth and development.
"We now have the opportunity to do that in the Asia Pacific region and the Middle East with this incredible investment platform.
"Everyone benefits – professional players, amateurs, grassroots golf, fans, economies, communities, stakeholders. I’ve never been so optimistic about the future of the sport.”
Cho Minn Thant, the commissioner and CEO of the Asian Tour, added: “We are on the threshold of a new era for Asian golf.
“The International Series is a new upper-tier of elite events, the likes of which the region has not seen before, that will mark the start of a phenomenal period of growth for the Asian Tour.
"It also signifies the furthering of our relationship with our new strategic partner LIV Golf Investments and its CEO, Greg Norman."
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